Co-Winner Writer's Cramp 2/8/04
|The New Prompt is:
This form of prompt has been used before but... everytime I see it used I think of a diffent perspective to write about.
Look in the mirror of your soul and discover your best quality and then write a poem or prose about it using an analogy of a flower.
A Dissertation Upon the Kindness and Humor of the Rough Fruited Cinquefoil
I shall refrain from looking into the deep dark recesses of my soul for fear that I may find that what has often been said about me is indeed true, that I have no soul and am the embodiment of evil upon the face of the planet. Those of you that know me and those of you that will come to know me by this fain attempt at discourse will scoff at the very notion of the idea. Yet, let me assure you, there are those who would vouch for the veracity of the statement. They are, rightly so, mostly those that have felt the stinging wrath of the mighty whip I wield in my right hand which is aptly named, “The Law”, whilst with my left hand, more subtly christened, “The Touch”, I most deftly lighten their purse of its cumbersome and officious load.
Oh, but we shall not delve into the fallacies of their beliefs but rather we shall look to those whose opinions I cherish the most for a more fair evaluation of “my best quality” and in the tradition of the great orators and writers of prose of the nineteenth century we shall expound upon that quality, or in this case qualities, for my cherished evaluators could not agree, in this discourse upon a delicate and gentle flower.
When I put the difficulty to my wife and requested a most expeditious rejoin I was first met with stunned silence followed by a hesitant, “I don’t know.” Obviously she was still in some astonishment over her triumph yesterday with her narrative about the color green. With several lengthy minutes elapsing she finally regrouped her senses and uttered forth, “your kindness.” For this I expressed my gratitude and having been somewhat humbled by her inability to present a prompt response to the question I returned to my lonely writer’s garret to ponder the circumstances further.
It was here as I struggled to resolve the obvious conflict between kindness and some of my more favorite flowers, dragon’s breath and dogbane, that I took a chance and acted upon an opportunity that presented itself in the form of my wayward son. I mean no disrespect to him by using the term wayward as a descriptive moniker but mean only to indicate that he is at times strong willed and rebellious. I posed the same interrogatory to him. It produced, I am afraid, similar results; long moments of silence followed by an admission of lack of knowledge and culminated with, “your humor I guess.” To this, being somewhat of age, and not as sound of hearing as I once was, I responded, “Did you say humor, hubris or humus?” He merely chuckled and went upon his self-determined way.
Faced with this new direction I returned to my mode of contemplation and proceeded to narrow my potential list of pistilationus possibilities that would exhibit the ascribed qualities of kindness and humor. After much thought and studious research, that I am sure was not unlike the effort that was put into the writing of some of our more magnitudinous volumes of philosophy, I happened upon an obscure reference to a flower, nay, a ray of light from my youthful explorations upon the hills and meadows of my home, the rough fruited cinquefoil. It fell into my portitudinous lap from one of the many botanist related tomes that grace the shelves of my non-distinctive garret
This, I thought, would be the flower to best describe the aforementioned traits of kindness and humor and their supposed existence in my psyche. In form we are not unlike each other. If one were to view the cinquefoil, one would find a plant that stands erect and is very hairy, leafy and many branched, even rotund by some accounts. It is a proud plant, deeply rooted and bears the onslaught of the tumultuous seasons well. It is as at home in the poor quality soil of abandoned fields and roadsides as it is in the cultivated and sophisticated setting of an English garden. Not unlike said author.
It’s large pale yellow flower beckons to the passing insects, and with kindness, allows them to drink of its sweet nectar so that they too may find the fortitude to survive the harshness of the seasons. It asks little in return. Merely a place to survive and the favor of propagation allowed by this association with the Phylum Arthropoda. It provides much needed shelter for some of the lesser members of this genealogical smorgasbord and in return they assist in the distribution of the rough fruit from which its nomenclature is so derived.
So it is with much admiration that I view this oft-missed and ignored flower. The attribute of kindness is so well defined by its very existence. If we were reader, you and I, in a local establishment dedicated to the embellishment of tales and the imbibing of spirituous drink, I would raise forth my draft and offer to all within sound of my bellicose voice, a toast, a tribute to said cinquefoil, and thereby bask in the glory of toasting myself, for we are but kindred spirits on this road called life, each in his own and kind way, making the journey a bit easier for those around us.
Oh, that we were all rough fruited cinquefoils, for the world would be a much more tolerable and livable place. But alas, all may aspire to said greatness, but few, such as myself, shall ever attain it. This is humanity's loss.
And what of the humor, you say? How does that fit into all of this? Well, my often maligned and somewhat slow-to-grasp reader, isn’t it obvious? Both my beloved Rough Fruited Cinquefoil and I are most expert in the use of manure…