31 December 2012

Tobacco Flower

Image by louisa_catlover

I want to touch your white, pointed petals
Before they burn.
Your flower flesh is much too soft
To kill me quick,
So let me caress your leaves
While they’re still green.

I wish my breath could keep them
But I know it kills you.
So I must keep you
We should take our final gasps

Share me these last days.
Let me carry your picture
In my weak heart.

I will take your sweet bouquet.
I will dig you up and hold you close.
I will wrap a silk bag around your roots.
To keep moist earth
Clutched between their knotty fingers
So they don’t dry like dead bones.
I will warm you in my arms,
Squeeze you with my trembling limbs,
And kiss you again and again and again.

Submitted at The Mag. The inspiration Tess offered is the image below.  I also offered a little reading. My mom was a heavy smoker. My dad was a very light smoker. My brother is a a pretty heavy smoker. And myself, I'm a non smoker.  So this is personal, but really an imagined point of view. 
Image from R.A.D. Stainforth


  1. That was fantastic! I love how you mixed the images of life and death, beauty and illness, plant and body. Your reading was a treat as well.

    1. Thanks, Mouse. I have some smokers in the family who lost a good friend to lung cancer. But they ain't quittin'. I'm glad you enjoyed the reading too!

  2. Love your words and your reading was indeed a treat.

    I smoke, have done for years and have no wish to 'give up'- so feel like a bit of a leper readings some of the responses to the prompt.

    I don't bury my head in the sand, don't delude myself that smoking is healthy - but remain a 'person' in my own right and resent (a little) the way society is attempting to dehumanise me.

    My dad died (in 1982)of a cancer highly associated with smoking and drinking - he did neither - but was not believed by the medics. Perhaps a decade later it was discovered a medical condition he had was strongly associated with the cancer he had...

    It is interesting that in 2012 WHO declared that diesel fuel was now 'officially' a known carcinogenic and its fumes permeate the atmosphere and affect us all...doubt whether bans will apply here somehow.

    Apologies for airing my thoughts here M.A.S. - but I feel safe enough to do it here - and that I thank you for.

    Have a wonderful New Year.

    Anna :o]

    1. I feel like you should have the right to do what you want to do. But I also feel like many smokers don't understand (or care) that the smoke affects others around. I am absolutely not saying this applies to you.

      Anyhow, thank you for your comments. I'm glad that as a continuing smoker, you could appreciate this. And your thoughts, comments, criticisms, etc. are always welcome here.


  3. This is beautifully written ... I am not a smoker, my youngest sister gave it up in mid-2012 after more than 40 years. Our father died at the tender age of 46, he was a heavy smoker.

    The irony is I can walk into a party, drink a glass of wine, smoke one cigarette if everyone else in the room is smoking ... and walk away. (Not that I'm proud of this achievement)

    Happy New Year

    1. My dad could smoke 1 cigarette a month. He would send me to the store to buy a single cigarette. And he wouldn't do that often. Of course, now kids can't buy cigarettes and they won't sell you 1 anyway.

      I'm glad you enjoyed. Thanks.


  4. nicely written and thanks for sharing your words

  5. You beautifully illustrate the contrast between the two pictures with your words. Well done!

    1. Thanks. I really wanted to have those 2 opposing images.

  6. Smoking never sounded so sensual. Great job.

    1. Thank you, Gail. And thanks for visiting.

  7. Very sensual mingling of sex and death. You have a wonderful voice for poetry too.

  8. Lovely...I especially like "I wish my breath could keep them beautiful"...