Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Pomegranate

Although Spring is soon to arrive it feels very much like the doldrums of winter at the moment, mainly because we've had very little rain and the land is fairly dry. If we do not get a bounty of rain soon I am doubtful that there will be extra honey for harvesting this season.

The poem below arrived in my inbox from my friend Jazmin – a writer, poet, mother. Thus, as I woefully ponder the weather my thoughts go Persephone and pomegranates, rather fitting since my daughter Eve has once more departed back to Vermont for the next school semester.

In the palette of botanical natural perfume we have a pomegranate seed absolute and a C02 extract by the botanical name Punica granatum. The absolute comes and goes from the market like the tides of the ocean. I have mainly used the absolute in blends for symbolic purposes to evoke the female. The aroma of the essence is very subtle. The C02 is a carrier oil, wonderful for the skin with interesting chocolate prune-like aromatics.

The Pomegranate
by Eavan Boland

The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted. Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate! How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and
the noise of stone and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance.
The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world. But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it. As I have.
She will wake up. She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips. I will say nothing.

Image: Persephone by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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