Song of the Azaleas

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Inspired by the works of T.S. Eliot; a poem about life.

References made to the Book of Ecclesiastes and the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

Submitted: April 30, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 30, 2017



Part One
Azaleas are fair, the most serene of flowers;

a throng, strong in their numbers, something

that fell down from the celestial eye,

a teardrop of God.


Azaleas are beautiful to the waking eye

A simple bush covered in white flowers

like snow; they melt away as spring begins

the fairest part of the year missed,

but to those who can hear them

they whisper a refrain

In the end, all things die.

In the end, all things are dead and gone.

In the end, everything is forgotten.


They are born and they die

(two weeks of time runs out faster than you think)

and in a blink, they are gone.

Life is short, murmur the azaleas,

the beginning is already the end.


Part Two

In a room near the housetop a young girl sits

and through her window the azalea sings

cold thoughts in her head, cold thoughts in her dreams

and the night only grows colder.

Vanity of vanities, all this is vanity

is what the azaleas whisper to her

all of life is vanity and a chase after wind.

She sits with a notepad, head in a cloud

(because the lines and words circling her brain feel to her like a cloud)

and yearns inside for the words she needs.

Paper is patient, and all pencils have erasers-

if only life were like a blank sheet of paper,

you could crumple it up and start again when you make mistakes.

Her words come out straight on the paper,

but when she speaks they come out crooked and misshapen.


Her mind at day is quiet as the wind whistles through it;

Her mind at night hums with the sound of bees’ buzzing

(azaleas are nocturnal creatures)

large, black, unpleasant bees, each carrying a sting.

Her mind has become a hive

where bees are born and where bees deposit their honey

(their honey is made from azalea honey)

Take this cup from me! she cries, but no one answers

and she is forced to partake of azalea honey.


Part Three

The girl is scared of being forgotten.

She doesn’t want to be like a breath of wind

that comes into a room and is gone

perhaps blowing some paper into a new angle.

She wants to be a hurricane

a Type Five, something who will live on

in memory, something schoolchildren

will one day write a report on.

Even hurricanes are forgotten

the azaleas whisper

they are soon gone

and no one remembers

no one cares

Vanity of vanities, all this is vanity

All things die, and all are forgotten


She sits awake till midnight in her agony

watching hourglass sand drip through her fingers

watching the endless clock tick her life away

screaming out in silence

as her mind is poisoned by azalea honey

and the stingers of bees.

It hurts because in it is truth

In the end, all things die.

In the end, all things are forgotten.

Then why am I here? screams the girl.

Why am I alive?




Part Four

Spring comes, and the girl is gone from her rooftop room

traveling in lands abroad

but still the azalea whispers to her

all things die.

The girl looks at beautiful cliffs and beautiful beaches

and knows that they will wear away,

knows that one day there will be nothing of this land

but, she thinks to herself

they are beautiful.

While they are here, they are beautiful

and for a second she believes it.

The girl wanders back to a place that is not her own

and thinks thoughts that are not her own

thoughts that are the song of the azaleas,

thoughts that are black bee honey.

She picks up a book and reads that

it is in the troughs of life that we are made,

that it is when we look around

and seeing nothing but a barren universe

and no reason to believe

believes anyway.

The girl comes home with new hope.




The azalea petals are falling in the girl's front yard

the sweet white blooms fallen to the ground

crushed in the mud beneath the leaves.

She glances at the azaleas and thinks

they are like me

they are born and they die

and they are forgotten

and their lives are short

but they are beautiful.




Part Five

Spring is in the air

a new beginning like the sunrise

that happens over and over.

A girl sits in her front yard

her dress muddy from the wet ground.

You are beautiful

is what she has learned from the azaleas

Life is short while death is long

but while it lasts

it's beautiful.




One spring day,

the girl finds a pencil-

because pencils are like life

(you can always fix the things you write)

she finds a sheet of paper-

because it is like life, but better

(because it waits, and life is always moving)

and she finds a poem tucked inside an azalea bud-

because life, like a page, is as beautiful as you make it.

© Copyright 2018 Teresa Morgan. All rights reserved.

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