I have never learnt the names of flowers.
From beginning, my world has been a place
Of pot-holed streets where thick, sluggish gutters race
In slow time, away from garbage heaps and sewers
Past blanched old houses around which cowers
Stagnant earth. There, scarce green thing grew to chase
The dull-gray squalor of sick dust; no trace
Of plant save few sparse weeds; just these, no flowers.
One day, they cleared a space and made a park
There in the city’s slums; and suddenly
Came stark glory like lightning in the dark,
While perfume and bright petals thundered slowly.
I learnt no names, but hue, shape and scent mark
My mind, even now, with symbols holy.
I love the picture this poem paints of flowers in the middle of a dirty city, and how even a tough kid who knew nothing about flowers found them "holy." I don't know many of their names either - though I'm learning more - but I too love their "stark glory like lightning in the dark."
Photo Credit: Matsu