A faded flower is placed upon my desk
and I for far too long have watched it die
with fragrances of beauty and unrest,
but if I could revive it, how would I
preserve its every petal, or would try,
and every fleeting moment of delight
and every half-forgotten lullaby.
I'd nightingale a thorn, if such a rite
would dawn them all restored, new-blossomed in the night.
Above on shelves of dusty-honored age
a multitude of knowledgeable works
deplore my guileless fancies and engage
my thoughts with noble tugs and stubborn jerks
towards venerable heights, and promised perks
of pleasures wrought by words that might fulfill
my every mental craving, yet there lurks
the flower far beneath them, fading still.
The textbooks are my way, the flower is my will.
And so enjoined in mutual decay
I turn the page with ever-younger mind
while stem and stalk and eyesight waste away
and loves and lullabies are left behind.
I buy them in the market when I find
a worthy batch - I buy them, just a few.
Though dusty books will be here all the time
the fragile things of life are passing through.
Replace the faded flower, it's me that I renew.