You can bring me to the flowers, but not the flowers to me!

Photo by Gül Kurtaran on Unsplash

There was a dude
who bought a bouquet of roses

for a girl he really, really liked –

but the colours that leapt before her:
January’s spring! Quivering arrows;

hiding their thorns
in crinkled, silver foil

brought not joy – but, instead –
dismay to her eyes.

Then the girl said,

“Never mind this awful Valentine’s Day cliche,
but there’s something you have to know:

“you can bring me to the flowers,
but not the flowers to me!”

The dude, surprised by her words,
only had two words to offer: “But why?”

She continued, her mature stance belying
the terra-cotta freckles on her little hands:

“You see, my hands may bring them warmth,
but not the sustenance they truly need:

some water, sunshine, earthworms
to loosen the soil – or, even better – butterflies!

So leave them alone in the mucky dirt,
because that’s what they really, really like –

and bring me to the treetop walk instead,
because – my darling – that’s what I truly LIKE!”

© Zelda Reville

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

Pro tip: not all women like flowers, not all flowers are like women. Enjoy.

13 thoughts on “You can bring me to the flowers, but not the flowers to me!

  1. Beautiful. And of course, one wonders if *you* were the girl,and if this really happened! I will say, though, that whenever anyone asks *me* such a question about my work, I must reply “no.” Characters I create are never me entirely, though they are drawn from me, in part. Very nice poem, Zelda. :Hope your Valentines Day was pleasant. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A.P., that’s a very good question! That proverbial idea of art imitating real life is always a conundrum between the artist and the patrons, isn’t it? I’ve not been a recipient of flower bouquets so far – not that I don’t actually mind! 😂 But I did remember seeing a very beautiful bouquet of roses, clearly still in the flush of life, dumped unceremoniously in a bin. So this poem was actually a discussion of my initial thoughts about seeing that, and a lament perhaps at how that could be a symbol of our increasingly consumerist society that has always preferred the showier aspects of romance, as opposed to the more realistic aspects of it.

      And thank you for sharing your views with me. I really appreciate people coming forward to share their thoughts, so I know I’m not living in a vacuum! 😂 I, too, draw these characters from within me, though I hope they’re not interpreted literally as a representation of my life (yikes!). I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day too, it’s still an lovely day to do other things, if not just for the sake of romance alone. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That must have awful to see the bouquet in the trash bin! Someone must not have liked somebody’s approach. But I think you’r wise to derive artistic inspiration from that kind of pathos. Also I agree that society tends to glamorize affairs of the heart in a way that’s entirely unrealistic. It causes people to be let down when the little fantasy world that they have created for each other shatters. We also can’t control the multiple commercial influences that are continually being flashed in our faces by corporate entities with opportunistic motives. We can shut ourselves off from a lot of them, but of course we cannot stop them.

    So I would think that our challenge would be to incorporate that, too, in the body of source material for creative works. That cringe, or sense of irk, is inevitable. But if we deny the power of that which disturbs us, our Art suffers accordingly. No stone should be left unturned in the course of chaneling our inspiration.

    I’m also familiar with that vacuum. A lot of Artists and Writers are introverts, and we tend to become drained by excessive exposure to human interaction. I’ve noticed, though, that it’s not so bad online as it can be in the outer world of face-to-face associations. I joined a Writers Guild when I was creatively dry last year, trying to get over an impasse in writing my musical Eden in Babylon. It helped me through that process, but I have still found that the Internet writing support groups are more helpful, for me. Of course, we are social creatures — whether introverted or extraverted — and we do need external contact. I struggle with these things myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you. There’s lots of things which are beyond our control, and sometimes the only thing that we’re left to do is to create something out of what the situation leaves you with. This could be applied in many ways, but in this example, I was thinking that one takes up the pen when all else have failed, and sometimes the act of simply writing or making art out of it sparks off others to do things which the artist or writer themselves would never have imagined possible. Such is the power of art and the written word. Writing it out, it’s amazing how that happens because one feels so closeted off from everything, and when someone reaches out, it really looks like the brightest beacon of light out there.

      I’m still unsure if I’m actually an introvert or extrovert (or maybe both!), but it’s surprising how a little socialising works wonders to lift storm clouds. I used to think it would be possible just being alone but it doesn’t seem to be the case. I’m ok with groups, but the tendency to twitch a little is there, if I feel that there’s not enough space given for experiment. There are times when I think that I’ve had enough of social media, but I acknowledge how it’s helped me to push to my work to people who actually read this stuff. The art of balancing online and offline life is a delicate process. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with all of this, Dean Jean. I think the term is “ambivert” – someone who has introverted and extroverted aspects working in concert. I’m a chatty person, even offline, whereas most Introverts are quieter. I also strike up conversations with strangers very easily, which is not an introverted trait. So I’m trying to work on being a bit quieter, at least in real life.

    I know what you mean about how a *little* face-to-face contact will go a long way. Sometimes just even getting out of the house for a few minutes, talking with the cashier at the corner store, will do it for me. It’s been a little strange being sick and house-bound the last couple days. I can’t leave the house at all, and so the only contact I’ve had has been phone and Internet. But in a way, it’s a cleansing experience, kind of like a meditation retreat. A change of pace, to say the least.

    Your work is very good, and I think you’re wise to seek support from the available online venues. But don’t be — I’m not sure how to say this — too hard on yourself. People say that to me all the time, and it kinda irks me. If I weren’t at least a *little* hard on myself, I’d be lazy, and I wouldn’t get anything done. I didn’t learn how to play the piano, for example, by being “easy on myself.” Yet when I see myself in others, I fear for their emotional health at times. Being both a genius and a young person cannot be easy for you — and I hope I’m not the first person who ever called you a “genius.” When I was younger, the awareness of my capabilities was often completely unwieldy. In a way, I’m grateful to be an old guy, and to have most of my life-mistakes behind me, fueling my creative fire.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Truly a remarkable poem. One that visually brings about the idea of roses and the questions that hold answers to life’s perplex moments in love and the idea of Valetine’s day.

    I miss reading your poems. I’m glad your back…I was worried about you and wondering since our last conversation we had through email. How have you been?

    P.S I posted a new poem today. Feel free to stop by and have a dictionary ready. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Charlie, thanks for stopping by! I’ve been busy lately, so I stopped posting but I would still like to scratch that writing itch, so here I am again. Your poems are brilliant – I sense that your blade has been sharpened behind the shadows, yes? 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m reading Adam Rutherford’s A Brief History Of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories In Our Genes. It tickles my STEM background and it’s pretty much the first general science-y book I’ve read. The first chapter on Neanderthals is an eye-opener…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me too. It’s a fascinating book. I also just finished Susan Neiman’s Why Grow Up: A Philosophy in Transit. It talks about how most of us think growing up is scary but she argues for why she thinks it’s necessary and how to avoid being jaded by life while doing so.


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