Thursday, July 07, 2005

What kind of plant would you be? And what would you eat to grow?

Venus fly trap
eats the carcasses of lies.

I bat my pretty lashes
open eyes wide.

I do not disguise
who I am.

If these flies
mis-read my spines

if my wetness signals desire
and not hunger

deception is not to blame
but rather their willingness

to make me the soft home
where their lies take root.

Only after I turn black
and spit out their bones

am I free to shed the used
contemplate digestion

convert energy
and grow

a new mouth
open to love.


Blogger mjae said...

Thanks to my student Sam Innis for this enlightening writing prompt. I'd love to hear what other people would be. I've already heard another good one from a certain someone dating a certain someone I care about last night at Pearl's: He'd be a tumbleweed. He didn't mention what he needed to grow, but I recommend as a first step: roots. ha ha.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Mikaela, you are SUCH a brilliant writer. I adore this poem. I think I need to frame it with a cool Venus flytrap image. Actually, shouldn't all women have this framed? Just a thought... :-)

12:53 PM  
Blogger marjorie said...

nice, mik. i'll have to give this some thought...

1:37 PM  
Blogger Arvin Hill said...

the sweetest fragrance
hawkmoth's lunar ecstasy
feeds on witches' souls

What plant am I ?

10:11 PM  
Blogger Arvin Hill said...

No takers, huh.

[note to self:
In the future, refrain from haiku riddles.]

Answer: I am the tropane-bearing datura, an annual also known as jimsonweed, thornapple and angel's trumpet. I am pollenated by the largest moth, the hawkmoth, whose green reflective eyes can be seen dancing around my blooms, which only open at night or during other periods of relative darkness. My sweet, intoxicating fragrance defies description, but begs to be recreated as a perfume. Although I am a hallucinogen, my toxicity is legendary, causing delerium (which can last for days) and even death, particularly when orally administered. In Ayurvedic medicine, my leaves are placed in bath water and absorbed through the skin for use as a muscle relaxant and a treatment for bronchial ailments. A compound made from my stems, leaves, seeds and flowers was called "flying ointment" and is behind the mysterious belief that witches were capable of 'flying' on broomsticks.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Hmmm... can't believe I didn't guess that one! J/K Arvin, love your description. I suck at this game - it really brings out my lameness. I sit here thinking "well, my favorite smell is a gardenia...." I have too little edge to play, I guess. :-)

8:53 PM  
Blogger Arvin Hill said...


Too little edge? I don't believe that for a second.

I wasn't really playing fair anyway. Psychoactive plants and medicinal herbs (not that there's always a difference) are a longtime interest, though I spend more time with landscape plants these days.

Despite my love of language, I'm not so hot at poetry. Skilled poets, a group to which Mikaela obviously belongs, are a brave bunch. Everything about writing poetry makes me feel very vulnerable and self-conscience, and it's difficult to create a good poem without overcoming such insecurity. The fact that I have to force myself to write poetry tells me it's something I need to do more often.

9:44 PM  

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