Monday’s Song about Roses


Stop to breathe the scent

that must, sometime have whistled in

to some dark nostril

who’s owner took it in

and came the following spring

to slice it from its mother’s branch

and hip after hip to breed it

just for the scent –

carrying the bamboo bucket of water

from the river all summer

just for the whiff of it

in the garden of the emperor

or perhaps the moon’s own forest

white or red or pale as the bloom

shed and sheds its petals

tears of ancestors who were not as sweet

and held their thorns much higher

the blossom blows its own head off

and falls at the feet of the grass

the wonder of the smell of it

lost among the sniggering crickets

and the human loss

don’t forget, we will all rot like this.