As I’ve mentioned before, I often search for poetry specific to my subject as an aid to coming up with a title.
This often results in quite delightful rabbit trails into the fine art of poetry. I found two delicious poems concerning the Rosemallow–also known as Hibiscus–and although I didn’t end up using any of the wording in my title, they were just too rich not to share.
A poem for my neighbor’s hibiscus
A poem for my neighbor’s hibicus
Furled for the night,
see? They’re rolled up tight,
like tissue-paper cigars in the moonlight
in the morning they will spin open
I’ll be walking past
I’ll be sucked in, again
will spin with them, six-and-a-half again
fairy dresses for princesses named
Hibiscus, Rosemallow, Swampmallow.
The white one, shining in a sunbeam?
Rose of Sharon, sweet savior of sinners—
This pink one, I’ll call her Roseasharn Joad
bearing what cannot be borne
blooming when heat swells
when dreams evaporate like raindrops
when petals unwind
magic tunnels in time
swallower of bees
Published on April 25, 2018April 30, 2018 by Susan L. Leary
Daybreak and even at the start —from itself,
it flees: a flowering hibiscus,
beet-pink and heady with self-announcement.
Every blood-orange center born
of a bowstring. The petals taut
and meticulous in their pulling
back . . . The whole of it desirous of the mouthfeel
of rain. The whole of what was wanting to be said:
disregarded. Might the leaves,
teeth, teach relaxation, teach the way out
of such imprecise attention?
How the emeraldness gathers and spreads —
crawls through atmosphere,
delivers afternoon and with it,
a flower akin to coral in a deep sea.
Sun and water slackening in the fullness.
Though by evening, look again:
the color of flesh. The powdery wings of a thousand
asleep at the stalk. The flower shriveling so as
to feel for itself,
conscious, in the last breath,
of something missed.
As if to say,
there is the muddied earth,
there is the dead
but what of my body
will I remember?