Poetry 58: Red Geranium and Godly Mignonette by D. H. Lawrence


Imagine that any mind ever thought a red geranium!
As if the redness of a red geranium could be anything but a sensual experience
and as if sensual experience could take place before there were any senses.

We know that even God could not imagine the redness of a red geranium
nor the smell of mignonette
when geraniums were not, and mignonette neither.
And even when they were, even God would have to have a nose to smell at the mignonette.
You can’t imagine the Holy Ghost sniffing at cherry-pie heliotrope.
Or the Most High, during the coal age, cudgelling his mighty brains

even if he had any brains: straining his mighty mind
to think, among the moss and mud of lizards and mastodons
to think out, in the abstract, when all was twilit green and muddy:
“Now there shall be tum-tiddly-um, and tum-tiddly um,
hey-presto! scarlet geranium!”

We know it couldn’t be done.

But imagine, among the mud and the mastodons
God sighing and yearning with tremendous creative yearning, in that dark green mess
oh, for some other beauty, some other beauty
that blossomed at last, red geranium, and mignonette.

Image courtesy of www.pixabay.com

About Barry Daniel

I live in the Lake District in the UK where I run a guesthouse with my partner Kate and my cat Manuel. I enjoy painting, hillwalking, reading, visiting and entertaining friends, T’ai Chi and playing the guitar. I’m engaged to a certain degree in the local community, as a volunteer with Samaritans and I’m a fairly active member of the local Green party. I’ve had a relatively intuitive sense of the Middle Way most of my adult life but it found a greater articulation and a practical direction through joining the society. It’s also been interesting and great fun engaging with other people with a similar outlook. My main contribution to the society is conducting the podcast interviews, something that gives me a lot of satisfaction and that I’ve learnt a lot from.

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