13 Ways of Looking at a Springtime Dogwood

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)…

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a (Springtime) Dogwood

Written
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
these lines…

I

A cloud descended
upon

the hardened stalk.

II

Blossoms white stretch forth

And yet no fruit produce.

III

Dust

Outburst

Grin

Window

Orphan

Ordinary

Dust

IV

Denied the sunlight of the higher boughs,

Yet do your petals shine with
glory faint…

The blue between your leaves,
like flecks of paint,

Does seem to force your limber
arms to bow.

V

At night the ghostly dogwood rises to become

the misty halo of meaning

within my darkest heart

VI

A gentle rustle

provokes the man

to lift his face

and
watch the swaying sound

with his blind eyes

VII

The young boy perched his hat anew,
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.

VIII

Each blossom feels another yet none is the source of another’s

Life

IX

Spindly thing–

You crowd beneath my shoulder

You say my great green threats are empty–

Well, before you step on giants’ toes

You better learn respect.

X

Like a barber staring down

Upon an old white crown

An aged mop

Atop

A green blanket

XI

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

the
root of Jesse’s dogwood tree.

XII

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 nods

I and he touch the dogwood

XIII

The hungriest blossom feels the warmest Star.

 

10 thoughts on “13 Ways of Looking at a Springtime Dogwood

  1. Hm, I seem to recall being given an assignment like this back in high school…. ; )Must have been a good one ’cause I can remember where I sat to write it… strange memories. Heh.Hope you are well.

    Like

  2. stranger, i always wonder how people like you find my xanga site. the internet freaks me out sometimes. thanks for your well wishes about BFA, though. i am very excited about it.

    Like

  3. *sing-song-voice* You’re older than I am…. …well, for a little while. At least let me revel in my few months of being younger than SOMEBODY.How horrid that such a beautiful flower could smell so wretched. Are you sure your smeller is working right? I think I’ll always believe that dogwood is the most beautiful tree I could ever find. Too bad we don’t have any here.

    Like

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