...poetry is a way of coping with our lower selves, not of getting in touch with the reptile in us. Our lower minds do not write our poetry.
-L.P. Turco, Visions and Revisions of American Poetry, University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 1986, p. 153.

Do not mock the wine; it is bitter only because it is my life.
-Jalalu’d-Din Rumi

There is only one fragrance like it
in the world and I can enjoy it
in my garden all year round:
reminds me of freshness,
cleanly-clarity, home-made
lemon pies and those special biscuits
mother used to make-
the ones she kept in the fridge.
The flowers are sweet with five petals
and smooth green leaves embrace them
with a kiss of distance and freshly-scented air.
This green and white domain contains
bright yellow fruit, in abandon, tough-skinned
beautifully round like full breasts waiting to be
touched, rubbed, felt-up and around,
but be warned,
beyond a lingering, freshly-minted
flavour, like a faint honey of life,
a bitterness, some kind of poisonous liquid,
lies in wait behind the lush fullness,
marked: do not drink.

This world of green and gold,
with a sweetness one can almost taste,
falling on pebbles who look up in pride
and appreciation for the gifts of colour
and wealth they’ve been given,
delights the eye,
reason’s chief aid in finding why,
passion’s maid for those who’d fly
beyond life’s limits before we die.
Do not drink this juice, She says,
from beauty’s home;
‘twill embitter your taste;
what your eyes reveal,
your heart will moan,
if you but taste what
she has to drink; it is too much
when you get close to her bone.

Ron Price
15 September 1995