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)
By Robert B. Martin, Jr.
"October's Bright Blue Weather" by Helen Hunt Jackson
Spring and Summer, 2002
"A Passing Glimpse" by Robert Frost
"Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost
"Memory" by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
"The Heart of the Tree" by Henry Cuyler Bunner
"Red Geraniums" by Martha Haskell Clark
"Immortality" by Joseph Jefferson
"Everest" by Eunice Tietjens
"Tree at my Window" by Robert Frost
"Climb The Mountains" by John Muir
"The Rose Still Grows Beyond the Wall" by A.L. Frink
"The Runaway" by Robert Frost
"Hope" by Emily Dickinson
"A Patch of Roses" by Gail Lemnah Barnett
"Song of the River" by William Randolph Hearst
"Birches" by Robert Frost
November and December, 1997
"One Last Rose" by Gail Lemnah Barnett
"Far From the Madding Crowd" by Nixon Waterman
"Kiss From a Rose" by Seal, from the Album: "Seal"
"Summer Rose Saga" by Gail Lemnah Barnett
"A Bird Came Down the Walk" by Emily Dickinson
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
"The Path That Leads to Nowhere" by Corinne Roosevelt Robinson
"The Firefly" by Jane Stuart
"Plant a Tree" by Lucy Larcom
"The Daffodils" by William Wordsworth
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
"Wintering Rosarians" by Gail Lemnah Barnett
"'Tis the Last Rose of Summer" by Thomas Moore
"Autumn Chant" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop
"Departmental" by Robert Frost
"City Flies" by Alan Van Dine
"My Neighbor's Roses" by A.L. Gruber