the second temptation

“ The persuasive power of an odour cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.” ~ Patrick Süskind “Perfume”

after the expulsion into the other garden
peak and valley echoed down through the senses
fabulous flower forms gaping with festal fragrances
or withering in the bud with worm
some hid punishing thorn and prickle to repel touch
others proffered cool silken leaves like harlots
sticky scents of nectar dripped from honey hives
bees stung or fainted on the lips of flowers
all trees were knowledge - but Adam hung back

Eve perceived the persuasive power of perfume
the lure of libation- mixed mouth watering musk
tinctures so tantalising and redolent
temptation became a bygone word for ever after

For the imaginary garden I’ve concocted  Bits of Imagination: Perfume

23 thoughts on “the second temptation

  1. I like the bees fainting on the lips of flowers. I can well imagine Eve being lured by the lush scents. This poem is rich with imagery.

    1. And then tempting Adam again! Thank you for your lovely comment Sherry

  2. Such gorgeous imagery!!❤️ Sigh.. especially love; “cool silken leaves like harlots sticky scents of nectar dripped from honey hives bees stung or fainted on the lips of flowers all trees were knowledge..” Beautifully executed.

    1. Thank you Sanaa – struggled with another verse but poem only came together when I deleted it!

    1. A veritable thesaurus of perfume to tempt Adam – thank you!

  3. I like the way you have taken the story of the temptation of Eve and explored the scent of that temptation and then turned into Eve’s temptation of Adam, Laura. .I especially enjoy the lines:
    ‘peak and valley echoed down through the senses
    fabulous flower forms gaping with festal fragrances
    or withering in the bud with worm’
    ‘sticky scents of nectar dripped from honey hives
    bees stung or fainted on the lips of flowers’;
    I also love the use of alliteration on the plosiv ‘P’ in:
    ‘Eve perceived the persuasive power of perfume’
    that sounds like pouts and kisses!

    1. Kim I really appreciate your appreciation. Had to check out ‘Plosiv’ and see it as popping cheeks. ‘Pouts and kisses’ sounds like a good title for a poem?!

  4. I so admire your word pairings, Laura. You have created a rich and varied palate for the senses.

    1. the theme was quite intoxicating – thank you for reading and commenting Kerry

  5. As usual, I’m in awe of your way with words, Laura! I especially like “withering in the bud with worm” and “…others proffered cool silken leaves like harlots”

    1. thank you Kiki – a touch of Blake creeping in there with his sick rose

    1. after reading Süskind many years ago I realised scents can be murderous

  6. Seduction and memory: why are both chambered in scent? The temptation which whispers “ever after,” inviting us to betray everything to inhale that fragrance once again. Carnal knowledge in that tree, the naked mirror, revealing the insides of god. You set this well in the Garden, nailed the essence of perfume.

    1. I like how your final remark brings a touch of New Testament and another story of temptation – most apt for Lent

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