You speak of pruning, black spot, dead-heading.
Mention of floribunda, standard, climbing.
We’ve a dog rose hanging with honeysuckle.

Roses grow in exotic places, Turkey, Russia, Persia,
where at the perfect moment five tonnes of flowers
are crushed to yield one litre of oil.

It’s easy to characterise  it’s composition –
eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, linalool, nerol,
nonylic aldehyde, rhodinol, sterophene.

Can I tell you how its fragrance affects me
so you can feel as I do, the spin of colour,
deep cloak of crimson velveteen flowers?

And there’s Turkish Delight, rose-petal jam.
Water for cakes, rice, pies, worship of the Gods.
Added to salad, wrapping butter, steeping in brandy.

Dionysus loved a nymph whose beauty inflamed him.
Escaping she tore her dress on a thorny bush
with all her beauty revealed he loved her the more,

From her perfume and innocent blushes he created
the fragrant, red flowers the bush has borne ever since.

© Anthony Fisher June 2003

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