Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ode to a dandelion

you are the weed, not a weed
composed of hundreds of florets
(not just one flower)

each one, a lion's tooth
majestic, without the
bourgeois sentimentality
of the rose

you are a hollow stem, so
some say you have nothing,
but stems connect us to our roots
keep us grounded,
and hollow places have room
to fill

you are a milky sap, some say
but when you are broken
you bleed, like us
only whiter, more pure

you are the piss of a dog
(so the Italians say)
growing in cracks of sidewalks
whenever you please

you are a cluster of love-seeds,
(pappi, for the scientists)
a clump of angel hair
a clutch of feathers
a knot of downy pleasure
a party of delicate snow

you are a clock, hands
blown in all directions
running amok in the air
landing haphazardly
then grabbing,
living in the moment

This is not finished, but I wanted to put it up because I learned so much about dandelions that I want to do a whole series of poems now!
Interesting tidbits...the fluffy white ball of seeds, altogether, is known as a clock. In one Italian dialect, dandelion means, "piss of the dog," and in English (a corruption of French) "lion's tooth." And the translation of the word in many languages is diverse and poem-worthy! (I got this from Wikipedia, under "origin of the name") Check it out. It goes on and on!


Nathan said...

Where did you find out about dandelions? I'll never understand what these suburbanites have against them. They're food! Great poem.

holly said...

This sounds cheesy, but I learned from Wikipedia...I don't always trust it, but if I read the sources at the bottom, and, whatever, that's where I learned about them...their names in other languages, what they mean, o my! It's wonderful!

And yes, good food, as are many weeds and flowers.

Jo said...

A lovely ode to very pretty flowers. I have two baby guinea pigs (well four months old) and they LOVE the leaves. The sixth stanza is gorgeous.

holly said...

Aww! We used to have guinea pigs when I was growing up! I love the noises they make!

Cynthia said...

Very interesting facts about the
dandelion, and you engaged these
tidbits so well in your poem.

Misty said...

oh wow I like this poem just how you have it! I like dandelions too.. Any kind of flower will do.