Friday, February 08, 2008

The Night-Blooming Cereus

To make a long story short, my Night-Blooming Cereus needs some kind of perking up. It's a descendant of a plant from Mexico by way of London (1991) via other parts of the USA, and a couple of the leaves on this one have turned brown. Until now I've done nothing but water the poor thing about once a week. Perhaps it's just too far north for happiness in winter. In any case, Detroit's own Robert Hayden (Asa Bundy Sheffey, 1913-1980) wrote a fitting poem called "The Night-Blooming Cereus" (1972) and here's an excerpt:

And so for nights
we waited, hoping to see
the heavy bud
break into flower.

On its neck-like tube
hooking down from the edge
of the leaf-branch
nearly to the floor,

the bud packed
tight with its miracle swayed
stiffly on breaths
of air, moved

as though impelled
by stirrings within itself.
It repelled as much
as it fascinated me

eyeless bird head,
beak that would gape
with grotesque life-squawk . . .

Today's Rune: The Blank Rune.

Ciao for now!


Anonymous said...

I wonder if there is a male cereus that just will not bloom. Do you have a gizmo that will tell you if your plant needs to be watered? You may be over watering. The plant does tend to get funny leaves now and agin. It is the nature of the cereus. Hopefully there is a botanist out there in cyberspace who can tell you how to take care of that exotic and strange plant.

the walking man said...

Miracle Gro!

not a botanist but the commercials on TV have me convinced.



Charles Gramlich said...

Beautiful flower.

Erik Donald France said...

Thank y'all for the comments -- I'll try a water meter, Miracle Gro or something like it, and maybe a support for the creepers.

Will be fifteen degrees (F) in Detroit tonight, outside.