The Wanderer

Wandering still
His desert wasteland
His rose in hand
Funny thing
It should be shriveled by now
Having been cut from its source for so long
But it’s only a bit faded
A duller red than its original rich shade
He wonders again why he plucked the rose
It was that single sniff that did him in
And the next one
And the one after

Wandering still
His grey wasteland
His rose in hand
Curious thing
Its thorns are growing back
Not slowly
Not steadily
But sporadically
Today, one here
Tomorrow, one there
Another day, they’re gone
He’s got nicks and cuts from all that activity
Then it stops for a while
Suspiciously, he eyes the rose

Wandering still
His endless wasteland
The rose in hand
Bloody thing
Slices his hand open
He throws it down in a frenzy to suck at his wound
He stares at the rose
Sees his blood on its treacherous thorns
New thorns that had grown so suddenly
He didn’t notice them before
Why on Earth did he pluck this rose

He wasn’t touching it anymore
The sands could have it
As he turned to continue his journey
He murmured under his breath:
“Bloody rose”


The Man Who Plucked The Rose


“Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missin’ home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go”
– Passenger “Let Her Go”

* * *

Each step careless, nonchalant
Picks up dust as he goes
Feet weigh heavier than his soul
Soul weighs down his feet
The sun weighs heavier than both
Oppressive with fiery pride
The air solid around him
Wrapping him in too warm an embrace
He wanders this desert wasteland
Sparsely dotted with oases of hope
He wanders this grey wasteland
Searching for an explosion of colour
An anomalous expression of nature
He wanders this endless wasteland
‘Till he stumbles into a meadow
Vibrant with a thousand hues

* * *

“I promise that I know you very well
Your eyes never lie, even if they tell
Sweet lullabies that come with a smell
Of a dozen roses flipping down the green hill”
– Kendrick Lamar “Real”

* * *

He sits at the base of an Iroko
And savours it’s cool eternal shade
The valley beneath overpopulated
Its floor littered with countless petals
From each flower’s ritual ecdysis
The cool permeating his every fibre
Restoring him a sense of tranquillity
Moist red earth beneath him
A petrichor tinged with a pinch of blood
Slowly the idyllic view bores him
He realises he misses the sun
The heat, the travails of journey
One last view as he stands to leave
A flash of brilliant bright red
Slowly The Rose unfurls its petals
Time comes to a momentary pause
A flowery seduction of immortal will
He plucks the rose from its thorny bush
Each prick robbing him of desire
Poisonous Venom like an adrenaline burst
He takes a sniff and gets addicted
Time resumes its indefinite course

* * *

“Runaway, runaway, runaway, runaway
I’m holding on desperately
Runaway, runaway, runaway, runaway
I’m holding on”
– J. Cole “Runaway”

* * *
He wanders this desert wasteland
Missing the rain, the shade, the oases
He wanders this grey wasteland
And wonders if the rose wants the journey
Stops and wonders why he plucked it
He takes another sniff
He wanders this endless wasteland…


The Rose

A thorny rose
In the undergrowth
Of a sacred Iroko
Standing on a hill
By circumstance
But loving the
Shade provided
With the blood
Of sacrifices at
The Iroko root
By flower’s virtue
And nature’s
Glorious kiss
By illusionary Thorns
Dripping the Poison
Of intelligence

A thorny rose
Sits beside
A bushpath
Leading to the
Sacred Iroko’s root
Watches as
The other flowers
In valley’s meadow
Get plucked away
Notices some
Return deflowered
Just to get
Plucked again
Knows that
A kindred spirit
Will one day
Risk the thorns
Waits for
The man
Who plucked
The rose


His Rose

He went back and forth, passing by the same bush every time.
Then he noticed a deep red rose rising tall.
Had it always been there, or did he just notice it?
Drawn to the rose, he wanted to pluck it but was wary of the thorns all around it.
He raised his hand toward it, and as if it understood, the rose shed all its thorns.
Alas, he picked it up and brought it to his face to smell its sweet perfume.
He loved holding the rose just as the rose loved being in his hand.

He is walking again with his rose held loosely at his side.
He does not think he is worthy of such a gem, a rose that shed its thorns to let him pluck it.
Perhaps, he shall let it fall to the pavement so someone more worthy might pick it up.
Perhaps, he shall trample it without even knowing.
Who would want the rose then, all trodden and damaged?