“And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at”
Burnt Norton ~ T.S. Eliot
We stop and smell the roses,2 frustrated
with a fragrance faded out to favour
candied compositions.3 Bold blooms
however, halt our hastening – like traffic lights
we should be glad such scentless sights
have power to dam the rushing stream
of all preoccupation.
The clock watch stops —
there’s time enough to watch
the hunter gatherings of bees
feel the hairs lift on the breeze
smell the aftermath of long-sought rain
on dry, cracked earth – then check the weather vane.
I’ve stood stock still to sneak preview
ants that tickle aphid farms for honeydew.
And in the midst of rustic reverie
recite some lines from childhood memory 4
Yet still diversion with all these things divine
does not suffice. Our thoughts fixated elsewhere
and hence we see without a glimpse of what we are
there in the rose garden5
1.Title translated from the German da-sein – Heidegger’s philosophy of existence as presence
2. Proverb meaning: “To take time out of one’s busy schedule to appreciate the beauty of life.”
3. See Science News: “Missing enzyme to blame for scentless roses”
4. References the subject and meter of Davies’ “Leisure” poem, which I learned as a child
5. A motif of Eliot’s poetry – see Wagner’s “The Meaning of Eliot’s Rose Garden“
Taking it to the existential level, after Merril prompts us to include a chosen proverb in our poem for her Poetics challenge: The Proverbial
A rose that smells as good as it looks – the maidenly Blush Noisette. Not smelling of hazelnut as the French word suggests but akin to the hybrid rose produced in 1817, by a French gardener, Noisette, of Charleston, South Carolina, from the China rose and the musk rose
And a Yarrow wildflower turning from its usual white or yellow – Achillea millefolium in the pink
“But ’tis your uncontrolled power
Goddess-like to produce a flower,
And by your breath, without more seed,
Make that a Pink which was a Weed…”
Henry King ~ The Pink
Just out of the camera and so am joining in Cee's Fun Photo Challenge: Pink
I hear giddy voices.
Five would-be swimmers
Slap-slapping down the long, stone steps
And just where the orchard turns, their footfall
Deadened. Through summer-long grass,
they zig-zag, snatching at seedheads — then plop
Into the slow, shallow stream.
Beaks green with weed.
Five silent swimmers.
Inspired by De's quadrille prompt in 44 words: Stream