Historical and Literary Fiction / Essays / Poetry / Reviews /Book Cover and Interior Illustrations / Pet Portraits and Other Commissioned Artwork … "Prose may be the lowest order of the rhythmic composition, but we know it is capable of such purity, sweetness, strength, elasticity, as entitle it to a place as a sister art with poetry." Thomas Hall Caine (1853 -1931) from his firsthand "Reflections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti"
A sprig on the wrist a spell for a plague is worth two in the bush where the Lavenders lay their cares.
Such a fair flower stolen like sinning sweeter than forgiveness scented from heaven lost on earth.
Found to be useful for washing and cures of body and heart ache lullaby-ing sleep and madness.
Such ladies at work their laundry to air for rumors to ruin them unless modesty can save them.
All through the ages a toiling to some and leisure
for others somehow a likeness in essence.
For how they do grow Well drain’d in full sun or covered in winter
with still enough breath
to live on.
Clusters of secrets that beg to be kept
in sachets and strewing their hopes to the wind and a way.
Writing note: In Medieval and Renaissance Europe servant women who washed in lavender water, placed lavender in linens or draped laundry on lavender bushes to dry became known as ‘Lavenders’. The lowliest of these were sometimes reputed to be prostitutes.
Lavender has long had many uses and legends attached to it, and I have included just a few in this poem. Adam and Eve were said to have taken lavender flowers with them when they were banished from the Garden of Eden. The Greeks used lavender as a remedy for various ailments including muscle ache, insomnia and insanity. The Romans loved using the plant in their bathing rituals, believing it purified the body and soul. They gave it its name, derived from the Latin “lavare” which means “to wash” and introduced it to the English.
During plague epidemics it was credited with warding off the disease, often with a sprig fastened to each wrist. Today it is certainly a popular flower and herb, and taken only for its beautiful appearance and scent deserves much attention.