Wafting into my nose, plumeria.
Close by in the hammock, I,
not prone to swooning, do.
Frangipani her Hawaiian name,
her fragrance an opulent arousal
of the senses, I yield
and gladly lose my reason
in a dense dream rainforest.

Laos and Nicaragua
hold sacred her tree,
my brain recalls. But the sensation,
like a pleasure balm, enters direct
through each pore of my skin.
I imagine a lei around my neck,
feeling welcomed in Kauai.
Pilgrimage Plumeria!
I find myself in Palermo
where her flower named pomelia
is praised in the language of love;
in Viet Nam, where her every part
gives bodacious medicine.

Back in my hammock, I inhale the scent
and pray her names in a litany:
Dok champa,
Flor de mayo, Flor de cebo;
Pumeli, Amapola,
Hoa Su Ma;
and in Nahuatl, Sacuanjoche,
precious yellow feather.
Poetry Frangipani!

She brings me home to my body,
held gently in the hammock.
Her aroma disperses music,
measures of Mozart in the air,
sultry Milton Nascimento.
I brush a whorled blossom
lightly over my lips, the kiss
a mystery from the thick of the jungle.
Wafting into my nose, plumeria.
In my suspended bed, I,
not prone to adoring, do.

©Susa Silvermarie 2019


2 Responses to “Plumeria

  • Dear Susa, your poem brought back memories of being welcomed to Hawaii with a lei. It’s lovely!
    I am In Gulfport Florida, but unfortunately I am returning to cold snowy Michigan next week. I do like to be home in March to see the first signs of spring !

  • A small branch, taken from a massive old frangipani tree next to the Meeting House, was given to me by the old Friend. I planted as she’d instructed and it thrived in my front yard in St. Pete. Taller than me she grew, offering sweet aromatic and delicate flowers every summer. A few times a freeze brought her to the grond but with her deep and strong roots, she recovered by spring and was soon as tall as she had been before the frost. And then a yahoo came barreling over the railroad tracks, and airborne, lost control and drove right across my front yard. Sweet Frangi was broken off a few inches from the ground, her six inch trunk twisted and shattered. She never recovered. And I never had the heart to plant another one.

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