bleeding hearts

info on names/legend from Wikipedia

In this poem, I incorporated the flowers’ names: bleeding heart,

lady-in-a-bath, lyre flower, Dutchman’s breeches as well as the

legend from Japan, where this plant is native.  Enjoy!

 

photo credit: Janine Calsbeek

photo credit: Janine Calsbeek

 

Lamprocapnos is monotypic genus;

this sole species of flowering beauty

like one-of-a-kind love story to make

a shogun son’s heart bleed fuchsia

 

did he spy the lady in her bath?

(such was King David’s waterloo)

did he, like David, strum on a lyre?

sweet music to woo heart strings

 

he brought her a pair of white hares

soft as silk, like his young love for her

but she nervously refused the rabbits

(perhaps she feared being scratched)

 

next, he offered a gift of lady slippers

richly ornamented, warm comfort

for pretty geisha girl’s dainty feet;

she rejected on pretense of poor fit

 

desire to win her heart possessed

him to envisage a golden gift for

such a golden girl;  ah, earrings to

dangle from tantalizing earlobes

 

she laughed at flushed youth

in his Dutchman’s breeches

(East India Company imports)

turning cooly to her green tea

 

wretched soul, to believe only

forbidden touch would satisfy,

goes to misty forest with sword

to rend heart-broken wide open