Posts Tagged ‘blossoms


jacaranda (a manifesto)

their fragrance may be the second thing you notice.

to have that experience you must exit your vehicle.

and stand in the middle of an abandoned street–this one courtesy the shuttered tustin air base (forget, please, for the moment, that there’s one of those ubiquitous orange county black mercedes benz’s parked a block or so away–without a driver or a sign of human life near it or even away from it.)

which is not unusual for orange county, the 6th most populous county in the u.s., but where, if you travel in my circles, you’ll rarely see another human being.

p.s. that’s a zeppelin hangar in the background; it’s scale is impossible to convey in a photo–god knows i’ve tried in the past, but no matter from what angle i photograph it, it always looks small. trust me, it’s HUGE, GARGANTUAN–which reminds me, did you ever read rabelais? i have, en français sans doute and ever since i’ve tended a love for all things pantagruel et gargantua, mes grands géants, but that may just be me.

how can that be, you may ask yourself? so many people, so rarely seen. the easy answer: they rarely get out of their cars, or pull over somewhere, possibly trespassing as i was the day i took these photographs (yesterday, to be exact), eschewing nature, quiet, contemplation, and solitude for god-knows-what, but i suspect it’s fear that keeps them from more solitary pursuits–such as being alone with their thoughts.

may is the purple month in southern california. first we have the jacarandas (jacaranda cuspidfolia, possibly, for those readers–and you know who you are–that enjoy their latin genus and species nomenclature), and followed by the agapantha.

today, though, i’m all about the jacaranda and cloudy days and solitude and abandoned air fields, blimp hangars, and a block of townhomes framed by gnarled branches and purple blossoms of 80 year-old flowering trees whose scent startled me with its sweetness and strength (two qualities we would be well-advised to utilize in our lives, yes?)


sunday (a flower a day)

the garden has been neglected this year.  it’s managed fairly well what with the occasional weeding or trimming or pruning, but for the most part i’ve just let it be.  other than the initial rose bloom in the early spring, there haven’t been as many blossoms, but still enough to make a bouquet now and then.  strangely enough, some of the cymbidium orchids are blooming now, instead of in january–other flowers are also blooming early–the camellia and the paper whites are way ahead of schedule and i can’t decide if that’s a result of me ignoring them or if some greater power is at work–a neighbor’s azalea hedge is in full bloom–not what you would expect in october.  go figure.

to make up for my indifference, i’ve planned a week of blossoms, one-a-day, just like a vitamin.  some days i’ll add some words, but there may be days when i don’t so don’t be surprised if i let the image do the talking (can you imagine?)

also, for some strange reason (could it be the moon, halloween?), i feel like sharing some things you may not know about me and that i haven’t already divulged somewhere, sometime:

1.  i worked at k-mart my junior year of high school.  it is where i learned the little ditty, “i’ve got the son in the morning and the father at night.”

2.  i have green eyes except for when they’re blue.

3.  my second toe is longer than my big toe.  supposedly that’s a sign of royalty.  (as if.)

4.  i’m shy.   (are your eyes rolling back into your head?)  and i’m fearless in a crowd.  like my mother i will talk to anyone and yet i can be embarrassingly shy.  it depends, on what i don’t know, it just happens sometimes.


i walked

i almost missed you yesterday.  so small & shy, a true wallflower (if there were walls out-of-doors), only your profusion/profession/confession stopped me (the dog as well, but for him, not you, but for me, it was you.)  microscopic blossoms arrayed in a funeral spray (at first) or a wedding bouquet (at last) draped over the elegant arm of (this, someone else’s fantasy.)  the leaves with their scratchy edges & hard surfaces of delicious, edible green (but i didn’t, eat them.)

for you i stopped dead in my tracks (a little puff of gravel dust rose up around my ankles, the pathway as trite as the metaphor.)  where had you been hiding yourself all this time?  i’ve walked this path for years & have never seen you (was i blind to your charms?  are you there just one day of the year?)  look at you!  those pleading pillow lips, the seductive golden throat (a song emanating from it, the melody not a melody, but a long howl of beauty that brought me to my knees in front of you.)  i leaned in closer hoping to smell you, to put my nose on your shoulder, lean my head against your delicate clavicle, but you kept your distance from my bumbling, scuttling movement, allowing a quick photo, & then dismissal “that’s all for now.”

the blossoms spoiled me.  i wait now for nature’s next bit of spectacle, perhaps the moiré ocean will be pulled clean off its table, a magic trick best left for those with more talent than i.


water, water everywhere

the santa anas (dry off shore winds) have been blowing the last two days (think florida without the humidity) & they suck the moisture out of everything instantaneously: skin, eyeballs, plant life, soil.  it’s itchy weather & (good for moisturizer manufacturers)

whatever is about to bloom busts out in this weather & hangs close to the ground (drooping listlessly, but dramatically — lilies are drag queens after all & understand the dramatic possibilities of any situation.)

the tiny air orchids (i’m sure they have a scientific name, but you’re not going to get that from me) seem shocked by the heat & turn their precious little faces (all orchids so sexual) to the heat of the sun.

at the same time, the cymbidiums seem to defy the heat & their lush-ousness (yes, i know it’s lusciousness, but i like the idea of being drunk on cymbidiums) is a reproach to the sun & its withering power.  i’ve spent the last two days watering, watering, & have been thinking about water (it seeks its own level — a nasty reprimand, condescending & impertinent) but can you blame it?

the garden frog loves its cool, shady spot under the acacia, water adding to its patina (in fact the air it breathes brings it closer to reality each & every day.)  i would not be surprised if it croaked rustily some day soon.

i  drag the garden hose (75′ of un-kinkable green rubber–it weighs a ton when water is coursing through it) around the backyard from shade to bright sunlight spreading water, water everywhere (but a drop to drink always at my fingertips, mr. coleridge)

the sun pulling the roses to their first bloom of the year (if your year begins in april) & water pulsing in their stems.

the salmon-colored martha washington geranium (only 1 bloom per year) revels in the heat & i must be careful not to over water (geraniums like the heat & the aridity of the santa anas)

wait! was there a point to this post?  water washes away the grit, the grime, the detritus of life (violently in a flood, beautifully as a waterfall, melancholy as a rainy day, refreshing, renewing, revitalizing) all the while seeking its own level (down, down, down.)


natural selection/five minutes from the front door

voluptuous, fecund, ripe/pluck one — mind the thorns — don’t get too close

the subtle message of an open fan / one fold after the other / its only adornment / the flicker of a dark lashed beauty / an exhalation of memory

the bruised blush of a bottom lip pouting & dropping to a curtsied ‘oh my’

lace loose & flush against her creamy skin: colette/anna k./mme. bovary/lady chatterley/women in love

sunbeams catch a silhouette at the upper window/lace curtains move in the spring breeze

aquamarine eyes with their yellow irises & deep lashes / coquette / fresh beauty

the family crest suspended over the linden lined lane

& acacia avenue welcomes you with its bowers of berries & blossoms nodding in the sun & shade

are you attracted to me?  i have put on my best just for you.

stop looking at me like that, you’ll make me blush with your unspoken thoughts



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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