• POETS SALON

      – 3/27/19

      Hosted by Kathabela Wilson

      My mother slept through her two days and nights of residence. She, whose eager eyes were always open. She’d visited her son’s plaque on the hospice wall. Her last resort. But did she ever know in the end she was here?

      Serenity House
      scent of orange blossoms
      in her hair

      ~ Kathabela

      Ο Ο Ο

      Friendship (Photo - Alicia Viguer-Espert)

      Friendship (Photo – Alicia Viguer-Espert)

      Alicia Viguer-Espert

      Oranges, brought by the Arabs from China & India, have been cultivated in Valencia for centuries and therefore, there is a long-standing tradition in appreciating this fruit. Even as kids, if the temperature descended below freezing, we were all worried about citric damage. It didn’t matter that our parents did not own any orchards, the concern was collective. During my infancy, Valencia was still a small city surrounded by orange groves all the way to the sea, and in early May, when the windows remained open because of the warmer weather, one could get drunk with the orange blooms perfume. We found it intoxicating. When my father took us to my uncle’s orchards we rolled the car windows down questioning each other about the intensity of the fragrance, but it was at night when the blossoms exuded its sweetest poison that we wrote poetry.

      Today I stood under an orange tree canopy

      stretched my neck to touch the soft whiteness
      until the small jewels crowned my head.

      This is me, I told myself, crib, wedding bouquet,
      funerary garland, if permitted, remembering
      those clear May days when we opened the East
      windows to gaze at the bluest brush of the horizon and
      were swept by perfume belonging to the gods and us.

      The whole city turned into a perfumer’s laboratory,
      inhaling deeply lungs explored cosmic dimensions.
      Out in the orchards we rolled the car windows down
      asking each other, “can you smell it,?” possessed
      by irrational laughter, longing for golden spheres.

      I continue the ritual, undressing myself into the spiral
      of a pumpkin-colored-suit falling into a plate, give away
      juicy portions of myself, like the ones I fed my friend
      the day before she passed away, contented, gratefully.
      Seeds and white teguments I offer to smaller beings.

      Though the sheltering tree is a Californian transplant,
      and I can’t see the Mediterranean from my window,
      I promenade the neighborhood breathing freely,
      recollection neurons activated, sections of heart
      ready to give to anyone to preserve the memory.

      Alicia has recently lost a most wonderful friend. She was a lit candle lighting not only Alicia’s candle-life but many others. Holding to gratitude for the love received though acknowledging the enormous loss is now her project and challenge.

      Revenge

      Knives can’t slice it
      because of its age,
      skin already detaching
      from the sectional flesh.

      Couldn’t turn it into the spiral
      of the Orangina commercial,
      so you drag the knife over
      the cork-like cells,
      almost as a scalpel, then
      sink the nails under the skin.

      There is some satisfaction
      at separating its parts,
      isolating, utilizing
      the life of this orange,
      peel it, squeeze it, bite it.

      When it’s all over you marvel
      at the sweet perfume
      permeating your hands.

      Ο Ο Ο

      Oranges (Photo - Marietta McGregor)

      Oranges (Photo – Marietta McGregor)

      Marietta McGregor

      Lullaby in orange and gold

      When I lived with her as a young girl, each evening before bedtime aunt Lill would slice an orange into neat segments on a fine china plate and bring it to me with the National Geographic Magazine. Her grey hair rolled into a hairnet ready for sleep, she would say goodnight and kiss me with soft old lips. Six and a half decades later when I open a new yellow-bordered issue, I remember the sweet tang of citrus and the warmth of love.

      winter marmalade
      a coppery sheen
      on her old jam pan

      Ο

      Mexican orange
      the purple defence
      of a butterfly

      Ο

      new young love
      one more dash of Cointreau
      in her soufflé

      Ο

      orange grove
      an avenue
      of bee hum

      Ο Ο Ο

      Orange peel (Photo - Alicia Viguer-Espert)

      Orange peel (Photo – Alicia Viguer-Espert)

      Sigrid Saradunn

      fresh squeezed orange juice

      it was the norm growing up
      helping Mother squeeze the orange juice

      essence of orange on our hands
      getting every drop of juice to share
      sunshine in every sip

      Ο Ο Ο

      Oranges (Photo- Alicia Viguer-Espert)

      Oranges (Photo- Alicia Viguer-Espert)

      Ingrid Reuper

      Once an orange tree
      sweetly smelled in front of
      my wide opened window
      fragrant blossoms and fruits
      ripening all together

      Ο Ο Ο

      Scent of Orange by Rick Wilson

      Scent of Orange by Rick Wilson

      The Scent of Orange: Quotes and Credits

      Alicia Viguer-Espert was born in Valencia, Spain. Her family settled in the city exactly in 1238, when the king of Aragón James I, conquered it from the Arab king. She now lives in Mount Washington, Los Angeles, where she enjoys the company of several groups of poetry-loving friends.

      Marietta McGregor, in Canberra, Australia, is a poet/writer and botanist who has been widely published in international journals and has won awards for haiku, haibun and haiga. She grows citrus in tubs in her home garden, both for their flowers’ seductive scent, and as a butterfly haven.

      Sigrid Sarudunn now lives in Bangor, Maine. She grew up in Northern Wisconsin. She says: “Orange juice was a seasonal treat and the vision of oranges growing on a tree in our back yard beyond our imagination.”

      Ingrid Reuper is living in Germany near Hannover. She says: “Here, there are no orange trees, it’s too cold. I smelled them at Tenerife, where my parents lived.”

      Ο

      We welcome and encourage your response, especially in the form of a short poem, by leaving a comment below.


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      Contributor

        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

        • Latest posts by Kathabela Wilson

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      Comments

      1. Peter Larsen says:

        “Revenge”: wicked and sensual, marvelously evocative and satisfying, like that orange.

      2. alexnodopaka2 says:

        Naranja Desnuda

        The idea of undressing
        an orange
        and parting succulent flesh
        emboldened
        Velasquez’s brush.

      3. Ma. Milagros T. Dumdum says:

        Haiku

        People at the mall
        Peeling bright ripe oranges  .
        Not minding the moon

        Ma. Milagros T. Dumdum

      4. gillena says:

        Wonderful poems orange inspired

        Much?love

      5. Alicia Viguer-Espert says:

        Thank you Sigrid, you capture well the beauty of the “squeezing ceremony” and the perfume of the marvelous blossoms. I grew up eating oranges all the time and once, as a child, I ate eight one after another with gran concern from my mother, but nothing bad happened. In Valencia very often brides’ bouquets are simply created with orange blossoms.

        I also enjoyed the poems from Kathabela, Ingrid and Marietta, all lovely personal memories. Thank you all. Alicia

      6. I enjoyed reading the memories of these wonderful poets. The scent of oranges and of orange blossoms seems to be a universal and powerful one. The deep memories last a life time and emerge for some with simply the mention of this tasty and aromatic fruit.
        .
        Thank you Kathabela for including my poem in this collection of wonderful memories.from poets around the world.
        Also thank you to
        Alicia Viguer-Espert, Marietta McGregor. and Ingrid Reuper for sharing their memories. All touched me deeply realizing more than ever the precious memories from the scent of oranges.
        .

        .

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