(Of a Gentleperson of Ecological Sensitivity)

Charles de Gaulle

'Twas in the garden just today
I spied a faded rose;
It was the saddest thing, I trow,
That I could e'er suppose,
With hue so wan and lusterless
And frame like worn out clothes.

I gazed into its mournful eye,
Its eye gazed back at me;
I could not bear to cut a rose
That looked so mournfully.
"You, too, have suffered," I remarked,
And sighed with sympathy.

I am a staid, reflective one,
Of the Sierra Club;
The bartend tells me all his grief
When I go in the pub---
I wondered what this rose's life
Had been when it a bud.

Sometimes a very little thing
Will make my tears to flow---
"What was your life," I asked the rose,
"When you begun to grow?"
She did not answer me; words were
Too weak to bear her woe.

"If you could only speak, perhaps
The words might ease your pain!"
The faded rose appeared as dull
as compost after rain
When viewed at breakfast morning hour
Oe'r a bowl of unbleached grain.

Not one sign did she give to me
That showed she might have heard;
She only held me with her gaze,
She did not speak a word---
Did she withhold her confidence,
Or was it but deferred?

In either case, it made me mourn---
Though I am used to it;
Too often people stand aloof
From my more melting fit,
Too oft they fling and pierce me with
Their darts of cruel wit!

I do recall I sprayed my blooms
Once in a fitful dream
And when I woke at dawn I found
The foliage was all clean---
The words from my organic friends
Were nothing short of mean!

I am so seldom understood!
Once, as the teardrops flow,
Upon a bloomhead severed
And floating in the bowl
Exhibitors then came then out in force
And tossed me from the show.

I've never seen a beetle crawl
Along a rose's bloom
But that I've thought, "Poor helpless thing!
"You have so little room!"
Thinking that you must have a bite---
Before you meet your doom.

O little faded rose, I find
This grief where'er I go!
And you have suffered likewise, for
Your manner tells me so---
O little faded rose, I fear
Our world is full of woe!

(With acknowledgement to Don Marquis - writer of Reverie - a work about a sad sardine)

Clear DotBy Robert B. Martin, Jr.


Winter, 2002
"Written in March" by William Wordsworth

Fall, 2002
"October's Bright Blue Weather" by Helen Hunt Jackson

Spring and Summer, 2002
"A Passing Glimpse" by Robert Frost

Winter, 2001
"Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost

Summer, 2001
"Memory" by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Winter, 2000
"The Heart of the Tree" by Henry Cuyler Bunner

Summer, 2000
"Red Geraniums" by Martha Haskell Clark

Spring, 2000
"Immortality" by Joseph Jefferson

Winter, 1999
"Everest" by Eunice Tietjens

Fall, 1999
"Tree at my Window" by Robert Frost

Summer, 1999
"Climb The Mountains" by John Muir

Spring, 1999
"The Rose Still Grows Beyond the Wall" by A.L. Frink

Winter, 1998
"The Runaway" by Robert Frost

Fall, 1998
"Hope" by Emily Dickinson

Summer, 1998
"A Patch of Roses" by Gail Lemnah Barnett

Spring, 1998
"Song of the River" by William Randolph Hearst

January, 1998
"Birches" by Robert Frost

November and December, 1997
"One Last Rose" by Gail Lemnah Barnett

October, 1997
"Far From the Madding Crowd" by Nixon Waterman

September, 1997
"Kiss From a Rose" by Seal, from the Album: "Seal"

August, 1997
"Summer Rose Saga" by Gail Lemnah Barnett

July, 1997
"A Bird Came Down the Walk" by Emily Dickinson

June, 1997
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

May, 1997
"The Path That Leads to Nowhere" by Corinne Roosevelt Robinson

April, 1997
"The Firefly" by Jane Stuart

March, 1997
"Plant a Tree" by Lucy Larcom

February, 1997
"The Daffodils" by William Wordsworth

January, 1997
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost

December, 1996
"Wintering Rosarians" by Gail Lemnah Barnett

November, 1996
"'Tis the Last Rose of Summer" by Thomas Moore

October, 1996
"Autumn Chant" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

September, 1996
"The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop

August, 1996
"Departmental" by Robert Frost

July, 1996
"City Flies" by Alan Van Dine

June, 1996
"My Neighbor's Roses" by A.L. Gruber

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