Coincidence of Rarities: A Writer Wednesday Post

August 14th, 2013 | Posted by Irene in Essays | Poetry

 

Night Blooming CereusNightbloom, photo and all text © Irene O’Garden 2013

To listen to this post, please click here:Coincidence of Rarities

As plants go, it’s an eyesore. Scarred, scallopy, leathery, lesioned leaves all akimbo on the bony stems. Three hundred and sixty four days a year, that is.

But some unpredictable summer night, a prehistoric, dinosaurish scaly head lifts from the troubled leaves and opens to a melon-sized, pristine, fragrant wheel of glory. It is the legendary night-blooming cereus.

A paradise for moths, a silken tunnel of immaculate complexity –this opulent, ephemeral wedding of a flower has inspired parties for centuries. (We’ve held one or two ourselves.) As we left for Canada last week, we noted the swelling buds and resigned ourselves to missing this year’s display.

Yet our lumpy friend reserved her two spectacular blooms for the very night of our return, when I was able to capture this image.

As we sat in admiration, the waxing moon set early, leaving a dark starry stage for another annual rarity: the Perseid meteor shower. No haze, no clouds–for the first time in several years we could watch the thrilling, erratic archery of shooting stars.

The shooting stars: quicksilver blossoms. The cereus: a slower shooting star. Unity in rarity.

(Should you care to see a brief time-lapse video of night blooming cereus, here is one. Thank you, poppavox.)

 

A Gift For You

Do you have a favorite poem you would like to hear me read?

We will be abroad in September. Rather than depending on iffy Internet or closing up blitshop, I thought it would be fun to record some of my readers’ favorite poems before I leave and schedule them to post while I am gone.

Please note that your poem must be in the public domain, (published in the US before 1923) This gives us a huge selection:  Shakespeare, Blake, Mother Goose, Stevenson, Whitman, Dickenson–just think! Poets all over the world who wrote for adults and children! If you’d like some ideas or want to check if your poem is in the public domain, look here on Bartleby or on Gutenberg here.

You can submit them through the comments section below,  use the contact tab above, or email me. But please do so soon, so I have time to select and record them. Happy hunting!

 

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  • Mark r.

    Tree at my window by robert frost ……… One of my faves .

    • IreneOGarden

      Sorry to say, it appears that Tree At My Window is still under copyright (pub 1928)

      Any others?

  • ZarkWriting

    Gorgeously described and gloriously photographed! A kind of Cinderella of the plant world. Maybe you are the prince(ss).

    • Wonderful observation about Cinderella!

  • Scott

    I’m just going to call myself from Cereus from now on. Keep me in your garden, folks ’cause you never know when I’m gonna show off my stuff!

    Thanks for the thoughtful links to the meteor shower and a blooming Cereus. What wonderful new ideas I have to finish off my summer.

    Speaking of good things from gardens, For my friend, Linda, I would love it if you could record the dedication and the final page of A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES. We must remember those who made it possible for us to be in the garden when we were children – and to remain in the garden as adults.

    • IreneOGarden

      It will be my very great pleasure to share Mr Stevenson (more than once!) with you, Linda and this merry band of readers!

  • MARK R

    how about dh Lawrence ?

    D H Lawerence

    A White Blossom

    A tiny moon as white and small as a single jasmine flower
    Leans all alone above my window, on night’s wintry bower,
    Liquid as lime-tree blossom, soft as brilliant water or rain
    She shines, the one white love of my youth, which all sin cannot stain.

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