Toward dark blue skies, endlessly,
Where topaz seas shimmer bright,
In your evening, blooms ecstasy –
The lilies, pills of pure delight.
In our age where plants must toil,
Lilies drink blue distaste divine,
From your religious prose, they’ll coil,
Fleur-de-lys, for bards to twine.
Lilies, lilies, none in view,
Yet in your verse, sleeves of sin,
Soft-footed women, pure as dew,
White flowers shiver within.
Always, dear man, when you bathe,
Your shirt with yellow ‘neath your arm,
Swelling in the breeze, and wave,
Above forget-me-nots, the harm.
Love comes to you in lilac’s guise,
Wild violets too, nymphs’ delight,
Sugary spittle on lips, belies,
Dark passions on a moonlit night.
Oh, Poets, imagine you possessed
Roses, crimson Roses, blooming bright,
Adorning laurel stems, at their best,
With thousand octaves swelling in delight!
If Banville could make them snow,
Tainted red, swirling, in a frenzy,
Blackening the eyes of those who show
Ill-disposed interpretations, not friendly!
In your forests and in meadows so calm,
Oh, peaceful photographers, Flora thrives,
Decanters’ stoppers no different in charm,
Than varied veggies with cross-grained lives!
Phthisical and absurd, they seem to be,
Navigated by basset-hounds at dusk,
After frightening drawings we see,
Of lotuses or sunflowers blue, so brusque!
Pink prints and holy pictures we behold,
For young girls making their communion,
Asoka Ode agrees with Loretto’s window old,
Heavy vivid butterflies dung on daisy’s union!
Old greenery and galloons, fancy-flowers,
Vegetable biscuits of yore’s drawing-rooms,
For cockchafers, not rattlesnakes, like powers,
Pulling vegetable dolls with colors, like in cartoons!
Grandville would have put them round the margins,
To suck in colors from ill-natured stars,
Drooling from your shepherd’s pipes, in wondrous fashions,
Creating priceless glucoses, like fried eggs in hold hats, so bizarre!
Lilies, Asokas, lilacs, and roses, in a pile,
Inspirations for poets, like me, all the while!
white Hunter, running sockingless
Across the panic Pastures,
Can you not, ought you not
To know your botany a little?
I’m afraid you’d make succeed,
To russet Crickets, Cantharides,
And Rio golds to blues of Rhine, –
In short, to Norways, Floridas:
But, My dear Chap, Art does not consist now,
- it’s the truth, – in allowing
To the astonishing Eucalyptus
boa-constrictors a hexameter long;
There now!… As if Mahogany
Served only, even in our Guianas,
As helter-skelters for monkeys,
Among the heavy vertigo of the lianas!
- In short, is a Flower, Rosemary
Or Lily, dead or alive, worth
The excrement of one sea-bird?
Is it worth a solitary candle-drip?
- And I mean what I say!
You, even sitting over there, in a
Bamboo hut, – with the shutters
Closed, and brown Persian rugs for hangings, –
You would scrawl blossoms
Worthy of extravagant Oise!…
- Poet ! these are reasonnings
No less absurd than arrogant!…
Speak not of pampas in the spring,
Black with terrible revolts and strife,
But of tobacco, cotton trees that sing,
Exotic harvests, a fruitful life.
Say, white face, tanned by Phoebus’ rays,
How many dollars Pedro Velasquez earns,
Of Habana, a city that displays,
Excrement covering Sorrento’s seas in turns.
Where swans go in thousands to roam,
Let your lines campaign, oh poet bold,
For clearing mangrove swamps, a home
To pools and water-snakes so cold.
Your quatrain plunges into bloody thickets,
And returns with subjects great and grand,
White sugar, bronchial lozenges, and rubbers, tickets
To the land of plenty, a fruitful land.
Tell us, oh hunter, if the yellownesses
Of snow peaks near the tropics, hide
Insects that lay many eggs or microscopic lichens,
And scented madder plants, two or three, provide.
Nature in trousers may cause them to bloom,
For our armies, strong and brave,
On the outskirts of the Sleeping Wood, assume
Flowers, with snouts, drip golden pomades on buffaloes’ cave.
Find in wild meadows, where the bluegrass shivers,
The silver of downy growths,
Calyxes full of fiery eggs, livers
Cooking among the essential oils.
Find downy thistles whose wool,
Ten asses with glaring eyes, labor to spin,
Flowers that are chairs, a beautiful tool,
And gem-like tonsils close to pale ovaries within.
Find flowers in coal-black seams,
Almost like stones, so marvelous and bright,
Close to their hard pale ovaries in dreams,
Bearing gemlike tonsils, shining in light.
Serve us, oh stuffer, on a vermilion plate,
Stews of syrupy lilies, a delicacy divine,
To corrode our German-silver spoons, a fate
Worthy of kings, in a color so fine.
:: 03.06.2023 ::