Deodar Cedar Rosebud

Rows and rows of ink flow out from my pen writing a prose poem about rosebud from a deodar cedar— gift from a friend of a friend. She gave it to me perhaps in thanks for my prayer for her recovery from her head-on collision last summer in St. Louis. But that's another story. Focus, focus, focus on this rosebud now in your hand— its petals not soft but brittle, how beautiful it is. Ah rosebud!— the first and last word of Citizen Kane. There's only one rose in the Bible— Solomon's Rose of Sharon, the other 99 citations of "rose" refer to the past tense of "rise". Dante was more discrete, scattering no rosa in hell, two in purgatory, and nine in paradise. No wonder— nine was the number for his beloved Beatrice who guided him to heaven to see the Celestial Rose of the saints and angels. Ah! the romance of the rose— the chosen flower for lovers, a dozen red roses for Valentine! Once a friend drove me home after a poetry reading. We chatted in her car on Ross Road. It was near midnight when an opossum trotted to the bed of jumbo roses in front of the house. Suddenly it dawned on me— the egg yolks Mom buried there! Mom cooked two hard-boiled eggs each morning for herself and Dad, eating only the egg whites and using the yolks to fertilize her roses. This opossum, creature of the night has found its treasure— egg yolks, mini-suns for its nocturnal nourishment! Now I examine this cedar rosebud closely— how its red petals are so concentric, so soul-like in its centering, so many eyelids asleep in dream, in prayer, in fervor to awake for the soul's journey to perform the Great Work. So I celebrate in joy and dance.

                                        — Peter Y. Chou
                                            Stanford, 4-30-2008

Prose poem writing exercise Robert Bly gave to
Stanford students to select an object from nature.

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (4-30-2008)