02 March 2016


Digitalis purpurea drawings by Franz Köhler

A flower was offered to me
by whom I couldn’t see
and so I passed it quickly by
though I wanted to cry.

A stalk of striking purple bells—
            finger-sized parallels,
scent intoxicatingly sweet—
            bees flock to its treat.

A flower was offered to me
so anonymously
that though I imagined fairy dust 
it's name I couldn't trust.

Digitalis, they say, is good for all
in doses very small
but if it’s taken to excess
its poisons coalesce.

A flower was offered to me
as perfect as could be
yet I feared to accept a love
            symbolized by foxglove.

 For Sumana's prompt

 Copyright © 2016 Susan L. Chast


Sumana Roy said...

I love the playful rhythm and the magic touch, " yet I feared to accept a love / symbolized by foxglove." wise to stay away from enchanting entities...

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Gosh! this is truly magical..such beguiling detail in your verse :D
Beautifully penned.

Lots of love,

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I like the humorous twist in this poem. I don't think I could resist the purple bells, lol.i only got offered stinkweed. Hee hee.

Mary said...

I really love the rhyming in this poem, Susan. Nice to read aloud! Ha, and I do understand why one might not want to accept love symbolized by a foxglove!

Old Egg said...

Sadly most beautiful things are lures for the unwary, the beauty of flowers, their sweet scent, even the taste may well be a trap. Curiously I can't remember ever being told not to eat any part of a foxglove for as a kids as we were likely to chew on anything those days! I must agree how well you have rhymed the paired lines.

Myrna R. said...

I love this. It's funny, but sad if you have to take digitalis for the heart. Then the offering is not so welcome. Hope you're well Susan.

rallentanda said...

Fear of love poem. Very interesting!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Oh I would be afraid as well--so beautifully constructed Susan--I love the playful side here--on a very serious subject

thotpurge said...

Hmm.. roses might have done the trick perhaps!!! :)

purplepeninportland.com said...

Beautiful rhyming in this, Susan. A fear of accepting the unknown.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Yes, that is something to be wary of. We must trust our instincts! I like the form you created.

Anonymous said...

I really like where you went with this.

ayala said...


Jae Rose said...

The thoughts and feelings pulsing through this poem are so rich - they seem to be a moment but a moment informed by a lifetime of learning..and living..everything good can turn into something harmful...it's all about balance i suppose

Anusha Das said...

Sweet like the flowers

Panchali said...

Oh, while learning flower arrangement many years ago, I developed a terrible rash on the backs of my hands that was itchy, weepy and pretty bad. Ever since then...Foxgloves are a complete no no for me!
Great piece, Susan. Enjoyed reading this poem....it adds a musical element to reading. :)
Thanks for sharing...

vanderloost said...

Life seldom offers gifts to us of our liking. To not accept what we get and to repent later is a process which some may call human foible.

Intelliblog said...

In the past nearly everyone knew the "Language of Flowers" and a single bloom or a bouquet could convey messages (in some case quite intricate!). I like the way you allude to this language, Susan. Well-penned!