Dragonfly: Any of various large insects of the order Odonata or suborder Anisoptera, having a long slender body and two pairs of narrow, net-veined wings that are usually held outstretched while the insect is at rest. Also called regionally darner, darning needle, mosquito fly, mosquito hawk, needle, skeeter hawk.
Poetry: The art or work of a poet.
Prolixity: Excessive wordiness in speech or writing; longwindedness
I've always had a nose for scents---quite like a bloodhound I've been told. I could smell beer on my mother's breath the second she walked in the door...from the time I was born until I was 15...She quit drinking (and smoking, temporarily) when she got pregnant with my little brother when I was 15 years old. (To this day I wonder why she could get herself sober for him, but not for me and my sisters...) I was horrified to have a pregnant mother at that age. Ah, those teen years. I also grew up in a chronic fog/cloud of Pall Mall filterless and Virginia Slim cigarettes. I guess there is no such thing as a perfect childhood, right? For sure. We all do the best we can... But I'm way off track now...
Back to scents: this amazingly fragrant poem always delights my senses supremely. Can't you just smell the cinnamon? Enjoy!
The Cinnamon Peeler
By Michael Ondaatje
If I were a cinnamon peeler I would ride your bed and leave the yellow bark dust on your pillow.
Your breasts and shoulders would reek you could never walk through markets without the profession of my fingers floating over you. The blind would stumble certain of whom they approached though you might bathe under rain gutters, monsoon.
Here on the upper thigh at this smooth pasture neighbor to your hair or the crease that cuts your back. This ankle. You will be known among strangers as the cinnamon peeler's wife.
I could hardly glance at you before marriage never touch you -- your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers. I buried my hands in saffron, disguised them over smoking tar, helped the honey gatherers...
When we swam once I touched you in water and our bodies remained free, you could hold me and be blind of smell. You climbed the bank and said
this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.
You touched your belly to my hands in the dry air and said I am the cinnamon peeler's wife. Smell me.
Monet's "Houses of Parliament" from his series of this painting.
Monet Refuses The Operation by Lisa Mueller
Doctor, you say there are no haloes around the streetlights in Paris and what I see is an aberration caused by old age, an affliction I tell you it has taken me all my life to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels, to soften and blur and finally banish the edges you regret I don't see, to learn that the line I called the horizon does not exist and sky and water, so long apart, are the same state of being. Fifty-four years before I could see Rouen cathedral is built of parallel shafts of sun, and now you want to restore my youthful errors: fixed notions of top and bottom, the illusion of three-dimensional space, wisteria separate from the bridge it covers. What can I say to convince you the Houses of Parliament dissolves night after night to become the fluid dream of the Thames? I will not return to a universe of objects that don't know each other, as if islands were not the lost children of one great continent. The world is flux, and light becomes what it touches, becomes water, lilies on water, above and below water, becomes lilac and mauve and yellow and white and cerulean lamps, small fists passing sunlight so quickly to one another that it would take long, streaming hair inside my brush to catch it. To paint the speed of light! Our weighted shapes, these verticals, burn to mix with air and change our bones, skin, clothes to gases. Doctor, if only you could see how heaven pulls earth into its arms and how infinitely the heart expands to claim this world, blue vapor without end.