What a Rose Knows

This summer has been one of fun, but other things, too, that have been slightly less fun or distracting to say the least.  I must say, one of the more fun things that has kept my mind busy and happy has been Tabatha Yeatts-Lonske's poetry exchange.  I wrote poems for other poets, and received some poems in the mail.
It has been fun to get actual mail in the mailbox - kinda like the olden days!

In the midst of some chaos, I received Molly Hogan's parcel.  Molly just lives a few towns away, and knows the parts of Maine that I am familiar with also, so though I knew I wouldn't have time to savor the poem,  I opened the envelope to have a sneak peak!  Roses, ocean... but had to set it aside before reading very much.  I slid everything back in its envelope for safe keeping.  The envelope moved from the kitchen table to the kitchen counter, and then to a nightstand where it sat safely waiting for me to have a mellow moment to remember it again.

The moment came, and I went through a stack of mail and miscellaneous in the kitchen, looking for the packet.  I suddenly remembered where I'd placed it and scooted in to grab it from its safe spot!  I slid the photo of the familiar rosa rugosa out of the manila envelope and breathed a sigh of relief and relaxation!

Molly's poem, which I'd only skimmed briefly initially, now took hold of me, and I smiled to myself and nodded in agreement as I read "What Rosa Rugosa Knows".  Yes, Rosa does.
"Don't be deceived by her simplicity
and seeming air of fragility"

Here it is with the brilliant picture with poem:

What Rosa Rugosa Knows

Rugosa knows
     how to meet her needs
     to protect herself with stalks prickled and brambly
     to expand into new territory
     sending out questing suckers with ease
     using wind and water to disperse her seeds

Rugosa knows
     how to live generously
     to unfurl her tissued petals exuberantly
     releasing scent into brisk sea breeze
     her stems weaving a sanctuary
     to shelter birds, butterflies and bees
     her roots tightly gripping slipping beach

Rugosa knows
     how to thrive in adversity
     to tolerate salt spray from stormy seas
     conserving water in deeply wrinkled leaves
     to flourish in earth of poor quality
     and valiantly resist disease

Don't be deceived by her simplicity
     and seeming air of fragility

Rugosa knows

©2018 M. Hogan

Thank you, Molly!  I needed that.

We can all take a lesson from Rugosa...
she knows how to meet her needs,
live generously
and thrive in adversity -
     fragility is only her cover.

Get fed more poetry today by visiting Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, where Poetry Friday is being hosted.


  1. Yes, she is a terrific rose model... I mean role model :-) Beautiful! I can smell her from here.

  2. Wow - she is like our Southern "steel magnolias", that Rosa Rugosa. Thanks for sharing, Donna, and thanks for the visual and poetic inspirations, Molly!

    1. Rosa Rugosa is a very beautiful flower for one so hardy!

  3. Donna, I'm so glad you enjoyed the poem and cards. It was fun to be inspired by you and rosa rugosa!

    1. Oh, I most certainly did! Thank you for sending such a beautiful poem - and the note cards with gorgeous photos!

  4. How nice to wait for just the right moment, and then savor those beautiful words. Lovely swap, Donna & Molly.

  5. Ah, to get something pleasant in the mail that's not a bill or advertisement! (though I suppose many of those things we only receive online these days)

  6. Such wisdom and beauty in both photo and poem. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Gosh, I love Rugosas! I planted a hedge of them out front...their loveliness and hardiness are inspiring and strong. This is a wonderful poem honoring a hearty beauty. Thank you both. Such a gift from one Maine-er to another.


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