Walking around downtown the other evening and at my apartment the past
few days, I noticed a peculiar aroma following me everywhere I
went. It smelled almost like the pungent scent of stale (ahem)
urine–I know, not a pleasant thought, but I couldn’t shake it so I
began to wonder if some critter had wee-weed on my jacket when I wasn’t
looking. I sniffed everywhere on my person before realising that
the slightly distasteful fragrance was in fact the smell of dogwood
blossoms! Dogwoods have sprung out everywhere with their ghostly
white flowers, and while they are very pretty they do not smell so nice
at a distance.
Well, in honour on the new season and its herald dogwoods, I thought
I’d share with you this poem from the days of my old college creative
writing class. Enjoy (smile)…
in appreciation of the dogwood blossoms, with much humble honour to e.
e. cummings, William Carlos Williams, William Faulkner, Wordsworth,
Spenser, and such others as might find glimpses of themselves within
the hardened stalk.
Blossoms white stretch forth
And yet no fruit produce.
Denied the sunlight of the higher boughs,
Yet do your petals shine with
The blue between your leaves,
like flecks of paint,
Does seem to force your limber
arms to bow.
At night the ghostly dogwood rises to become
the misty halo of meaning
within my darkest heart
A gentle rustle
provokes the man
to lift his face
watch the swaying sound
with his blind eyes
kicked his feet at the whole world, spat and wiped his mouth on a
ragged sleeve, and leaned again against the trunk of the old dogwood.
Each blossom feels another yet none is the source of another’s
You crowd beneath my shoulder
You say my great green threats are empty–
Well, before you step on giants’ toes
You better learn respect.
Like a barber staring down
Upon an old white crown
An aged mop
A green blanket
The cat cried aloud
as unwilling people passed by,
unnoticing, uncaring, unfeeling
and the claws dug deeper
growing with growing fear
into the limb five feet above
root of Jesse’s dogwood tree.
I want to climb that one he says
You cant climb that one I says
Why not he says
Its too small I says
Lets walk farther I says
Which way he says
Any way I says
We cant he says
We dont have time he says
I and he touch the dogwood
The hungriest blossom feels the warmest Star.