Friday, 2 May 2014

A Single White Rose ....

For many years, flowers and their specific colours have held meanings. Back in the Victorian Era especially, certain blooms would be sent depending on what message you wanted to convey.  I had a fascinating research experience, when looking on-line for flower meanings, realising just how seriously people used this method back in the day.

To tell someone "Get Well Soon" you would send Cowslips and Garlic flowers, for "Jealousy" it would be Yellow Hyacinths, or to signify "Caution" you would send Oleander. There are myriad flowers to signal love, but you would have to look up which one to send for the specific level of affection and meaning.  Did you know the flower for "Poetry" is the Sweet-Briar Rose?

These days, those meanings are broadly lost as a way of communication, with the exception of sending either Red Roses or Red Carnations as a symbol of love, or Lily's as a sign of bereavement.

Being a tomboy growing up, I had never been that interested in flowers. That changed however in 1997, when I took a particular liking to White Roses. I find them elegant and beautiful. Understated, yet stunning. I have never been bothered for receiving Red Roses on Valentines Day, much preferring to receive my favourite white variety.

So, my poem this week is about just that.


A Single White Rose:

She sits and gazes upon it
through faraway misty eyes,
remembering.

Playing like an old silent cine film,
in her mind
flickering images dance
and smile,
wave together.
Their happiness radiates brightly
in their micro universe of two.
Presented with a single white rose
she smiles.
A solitary tear 
threatens at the corner of her eye.
The elegance and meaning of the bud,
waiting to unfurl,
blooming and stretching
towards life giving rays
is not lost on her.
Hand in hand they walk away.
The memory flashes
then fades.

Time is now her companion.
Its telling lines play about her face,
a silver crown of hair.
Standing above an open grave
her hand, now slender and wrinkled,
reaches forward
dropping a single white rose
on to the coffin below.
Its simple beauty
encapsulating love,
memories of bliss.
A symbol of purity,
secrecy, fondness.
But she knows all too well,
it represents sorrow too.
Tears flow freely from her grief dulled eyes.


I know this still needs some work. I am aiming for poignant rather than overly sentimental, so I'm still coming back to it periodically to tweak.

Thanks for reading.  ;-) x


Reactions:

3 comments:

Colin Davies said...

Beautiful

Louise Barklam said...

Thank you Colin.

DON'T FORGET FOLKS, YOU CAN JOIN US TONIGHT AT THE NO.5 CAFE, CEDAR SQUARE, BLACKPOOL, FROM 6PM FOR OUR OPEN MIC NIGHT. THE THEME IS NONSENSE POETRY FOR CHILDREN, ALTHOUGH YOU DON'T NEED TO STICK TO THAT. ALL WELCOME. COME AND JOIN US FOR A GIGGLE OR TWO. :-D

Adele said...

At an editorial workshop with Zoe Lambert and Eleanor Ress, the writers on Walls have Voices were asked to strip out all the excess adjectives. I am not suggesting that your poem is too this is too purple but I do think that poignancy comes out of less rather more.

You mention the poets favourite - the sweet briar rose - a link to a Grimm fairy tale similar to Sleeping Beauty.

After last evening's reading of song lyrics form ta book supplied by Christo - I remembered this, sung by Nat King Cole song.

"To A Wild Rose"


Come, oh, songs! come, oh, dreams!
Soft the gates of day close,
Sleep, my birds, sleep, streams!
Sleep, my wild rose!

Pool and bud, hill and deep,
You who wore my robes, sleep!
Droop, East! die, West!
Let my land rest.

Woods, I woke your boughs!
Hills, I woke your elf-throngs!
Land, All thy hopes and woes
Rang from me in songs!

Come, oh, songs! come, oh,dreams!
In our house is deep rest,
Through the pines gleams, gleams,
Bright the gold West,

There the flutes shall cry,
There the viols weep,
Laugh, my dreams, and sigh!
Sing, and vigil keep,
Awake, wild rose.