Monday, March 12, 2012

Ody and the Lenten Rose...

found on 101st street and riverside, photo by ana traina ~2012
I wanted to share this delightful tidbit of poetry which I discovered and uncovered about the Lenten rose from a book of poetry called The Chinese Poet Awakens, by the Appalachian poet Jeff Daniel Marion, because it made me smile and think of my dog Ody.

AFTER FAILING TO RECEIVE HIS APPOINTMENT FROM THE EMPEROR THE CHINESE POET RECONSIDERS THE WORLD

Beside my doorway this morning
the Lenten rose nods,
its bloom a blush of color
on yesterday's pale cheeks of snow.
Last night the faithful stars
appeared, steady travelers swinging their lanterns
through millions of dutiful rounds.
Who am I to them,
my days but a flintspark?
Now the old dog nuzzles my palm.
To her I am no title, not even a name,
just a friendly hand to scratch her belly,
to deliver her daily lump
of meat in a blue granite bowl.
She sniffs my leg, loving the scent
of all the dusty trails I've wandered
to come home.
By the river the blue heron stands
and waits, poised in the long patience.
Here the world offers itself, wave after wave
of mountains washing across the miles.
Here the sparrow sings from the sycamore.
I lift my voice
and come down to earth
here. 
my pal ody by ana traina ~2010 ~

LAST BIT OD ODDS AND ENDS ~ Use of Lenten Rose dates back to 1400 BCE, when it was used as a purgative to “cleanse the mind of all perverse habits”.  It is found in writings through the ages, from the ancient Greeks through the Middle Ages, when it was used by herbalists.  It has been used for animal ailments, to bless animals and keep them from evil spirits, to repel flies, to “purge the veins of melancholy, and cheer the heart”, or even in one superstition to make oneself invisible if scattered in the air!