Monday May 11th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: perfume.

Did a little more weeding in the strawberries this morning before switching to potting up tomato plants. We've decided that we've got enough of them to make it worth attending this Saturday's farmers market, so we needed to get that done today in order for them to have enough time to get established in their new homes.

And with Kat putting in a shift this afternoon we finished what needs to be done for now. We'll need to do the rest of the seedlings for the following weekend and for our own garden, but that can wait.

So now I shall focus on the strawberries for the rest of the week, until it's time to start preparing for our first market of the year.

Mine:

Pushing through a feisty crowd -
It's too much, too rough, too loud;
But then right out of the blue
I catch a scent and know it's you.

I allow it to lead the way,
Cutting through this sea of gray
Until I am at your side,
Grateful for your fragrant guide.

4 comments:

ivybennet said...

I'm jealous that you have a garden. That's a major downside of apartment life; not having a yard or a garden.

Marc, I absolutely love your poem today. The rhymes are great and the rhythm flows so nicely.

Perfume:

I don’t remember much about my mother, aside from stories and photos in the sticky pages of albums. Through these aids, I could tell you that she had curly black hair that barely brushed the tips of her shoulders when she shrugged. I’m told she had the best laugh that could spread around a room like a disease. I know her voice could be as loud as a storm when she was angry, and as soft as a summer breeze when she was content.
But the one thing I know without a doubt was her love for lily of the valley. My only recollection of her is a faint whisper of that sweet, subtle, floral scent. Indeed, whenever I think of her, it’s like I smell her perfume all over again. Had the scent not been discontinued shortly after her death, I would have been wearing it constantly, just so I could feel as though I was close to her in some way.
So imagine my surprise when the new girl at school, the one everyone’s been talking about, passes me in the hall and I catch a whiff of that same exact smell.

Greg said...

@Ivy: Marc has something a little bigger than a garden, for all that that's how he refers to it... :) That's a really nicely presented reminiscence with some delicate touches in the description that bring the picture to life. The punchline at the end is rather nicely done as well, and leaves the reader wanting more. The only thing that made me pause is describing laughter as being like a disease... but I can certainly see what you mean!

@Marc: Oh, an early trip to the farmer's market? With Max looking photogenic to help sell the plants? ;-) I'm in Porto for work again, so I may be a little erratic responding this week. It's a new hotel as well, so I have no idea what I'm going back to this evening... let's hope the budget hasn't been cut :)
I like your poem but I found it a little jerky here and there, as though some of the lines were just a touch too short. However, that may be effects of all-day travel, so I'll re-read it tomorrow and see if I get it better then :) The scene-setting is nicely done and I like the resolution at the end, so I think it's overall a success!

Perfume
Sylvie sniffed as Suzie came into the room. "What's that smell?" she said.
"It's the new Calvinist perfume," said Suzie airily, turning this way and that so that the whole room could smell it. "Do you like it?"
"I don't think you can mean Calvinist," said Syvie, her brow furrowing and her tongue peeking pinkly out from betwee her lips. "I think that that would mean you were denying the bodily presence of Christ in the perfume."
"I should hope there's no ground up bodies in my perfume! The box said it's got lutefisk in it."
"...or maybe it means that your perfume causes you to be subject to predestination?" Sylvie wasn't listening, and didn't notice when Maureen made a dash for the bathroom, clutching her stomach. "Have you felt compelled to do things, as though you didn't have a choice, since you started wearing it?"
"Yes, but only because I was watching the television."
There was a moment's silence while the two women absorbed what each other had said. Neither looked happy.
"What's it called?" asked Sylvie. "It's a bit strong."
It was, in fact, starting to peel the varnish off the desks.
"Obesity," said Suzie, pulling the box out of her bag.
"Oh! That's the new Calvin Klein perfume!" Sylvie looked happy now she'd correctly identified it. "Isn't that the one that causes cancer?"

Marc said...

Ivy - well, as Greg said, it's a bit more than simply a 'garden'. We live on a 20 acre farm, most of which is planted in fruit trees. But my wife and I have a vegetable garden in there too, though it's down in size from previous years.

If I don't include the ridiculous number of strawberry plants, we're probably around 1/3 of an acre. When we were doing the box program the last few years it was more like a full acre of garden space.

Thank you for the kind words on mine!

Really enjoyed how you set the stage in your opening and then set the table for some serious intrigue in your final line.

Greg - I remember at the time I wrote this that I wanted it to be longer. I think I was just tired and needed to get it done so I could sleep though.

That image of Sylvie with her brow furrowing and her tongue peeking out is fantastic - I can quite easily and happily picture it!

And, well, I'm not sure I'd want to be around anyone wearing that particular perfume...

ivybennet said...

And now I'm even more jealous, haha.