Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Sunday, April 24, 2011


image courtesy of Greg Laychak
The homes of old people smell
Of cooked cabbage
And decorative soaps
But that's better than the stale urine
And disinfectant smell
Of nursing homes
I wonder whether they can smell it on themselves
The odor of decay
Approaching death
How does the peach tree judge
When a peach has passed from lush to
Overripe to
Is the peach aware 
Of the moment it will be dropped from the tree
To the ground below?


Henry Clemmons said...

Profound. Well written. Enjoyed it.

Marcoantonio Arellano (Nene) said...

The ground at least appreciates the peach when it falls consuming it's nutrients as recycled fertilizer to once again give birth to another peach the following season. Human Beings don't seem to have the same apprecation of our own species. We discard uncaringly.

The Book of Shadows (The Dark Side) said...

That's so true... You nailed it, something I doubt I can express with such a smooth flow.. Great write..

hansi said...

I liked you poems. Sometimes I feel I'm getting a little over ripe.

Mary said...

Lolamouse, I used to have a piano teacher whose house always smelled of cabbage, and I think when I left there I smelled the same. However I have a dear person in a nursing home, and thankfully I don't smell stale urine or disinfectant. But I know what you mean. My daughters used to play violin in a group that played in nursing homes, and this was so true. I do think people in nursing homes know when death is approaching. Maybe when it arrives it is a blessing.

M. A. S. said...

I really like the peach tree metaphor, and the idea of an odor of dependence. I have really strange feelings about nursing homes. I don't think I like them. But I'm not sure. As a Catholic School student, we visited a local nursing home ALL THE TIME. It was so weirdly normal. But I remember the smell-and the look. It was like a boring hospital.

brenda w said...

and if a tree fell in a forest, would anyone hear it? :) This is a beautiful and sad response to the picture. Well done.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

So sad, so true. So well written.

And thanks so much for participating in my latest Limerick-Off!

Steve Isaak said...

Good lead-up, love the peach-/tree-related endlines.

Ginny Brannan said...

This drew me in from the start with the description of smells from an old person's home. I know those smells, and the others from when I was young and my grandfather was in a nursing home. So profound, so sad, this poem.Took me back to that place.

rmpWritings said...

Wow. love the use of smell and the correlation to a peach tree. very interesting.