Mine, and others'. (All mine, of course, in the end, after I pick and rearrange theirs — unrepentant thief that I am of beauty.)
I'd love to have the whole place swimming in roses
—James Joyce, Ulysses
Somebody hands up to the stage a bunch of obviously home-grown roses, after the official cellophane-wrapped bouquet—generous full-blown blossoms from an old garden Damask rose, a climber, nurtured on bone meal and sometimes, Ruth can’t help suspecting (seeing the two woman who have given them beaming, looking so much alike, but one ancient, tiny, bent), Peet’s Sierra Dorada coffee grounds swooshed from the breakfast cafetière—“the very devil to clean, otherwise”—by the gardener’s Hampshire-born mother, widowed for six years, who shares a little house with her in Fairfax and has loved Dame Kiri as her own since she sang at Charles and Diana’s wedding. The petals rain down as the singer touches them and puts her nose to them; soon the stage around her is littered with vivid red petals.
(from "Bridges," by Christie B. Cochrell)
I see you, rose, book half-opened,
having so many pages
of detailed happiness
we will never read.
. . .
Summer: to be for a few days
the contemporary of roses;
to breath what drifts about
their blooming spirits.
. . .
All that we feel, you share,
yet we ignore what happens to you.
There would have to be a hundred butterflies
to read all your pages.
There are ones among you like dictionaries;
those who gather these
are tempted to bind all the pages.
Me? I like the roses which are letters.
(from Roses by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by David Need)
images: Christie B. Cochrell, Pink Roses and White Hydrangeas; Vincent van Gogh, Vase with Pink Roses; Pierre Bonnard, Pink Bouquet; Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roses in a Vase; Pierre Bonnard, Vers Bouquet de Roses; Vincent van Gogh, Pink Roses