For many years, I have been looking, without knowing it, for you and those like you. I ache for your scent, the texture of your deep red skin. Thoughts of thorns torment my dreams and flickering at the corner of my waking eye, your vibrant colour flashes. You have inspired a thousand poets, brought down kingdoms, seared the souls of lovers and had your petals scattered in the air by those whose hearts are glad to beat.
I have never known you, Rose. You slip out of my grasp each time I come close. Often I crash through bramble thickets thinking that I see your perfect beauty, only to discover yet another empty crisp bag, forgotten faded red and wrinkled by the ravages of time. Can time have meaning for you, reborn each spring to bloom then die? It does not matter, for if you fear to die then come to me in fear and rest you head, if not then come with glorious laughter in your heart and stay with me eternal, until I go to ground and you bow your head beside my place of rest.
I beg you come, inspire, respire, breathe your life into me, as I will breathe into you. Take me away and sing in my heart.
I have tried, God knows I’ve tried. To each and every ‘Man (not men alone you understand but your entire race) I have been fair and shown myself in desperate hope that one day you understand. I can do no more than this. Each poet is so inspired not in my name, but in their own. My beauty is diminished by the page, for while a rose is but a word, a word is not the Rose. No kingdoms have I killed, no lovers saved.
But I have watched. You clamour for me yet you will not work. Your hands are petrified by soil and so you seek a false economy, a rose in nothing but the name, no earthy smell, no thorns, no drops of honest moisture on the leaves. Where are your sonnets to the worm, that miracle? Would your amour not accept the tender gift of half a bag of soil, a flint? And why must you make me frail? Love’s not frail, and nor am I, nor weak, defenceless, apt to die in frost. A rose is hard, protected, unafraid. We grow from stony ground and still we reach great heights
Damn you and damn your inspiration. If you love, then love, if you must fight then fight. But leave me be.