Why Does the Dandelion Roar?
What, my dear friend, is the dandelion’s bane?
Not the slug, nor the aphid,
or being yanked from the earth
in April, root, leaf and mane,
not at all, what drives me,
a tenacious taraxacum,
tarashaquq in ancient Persian,
to distraction is the unsettled nature
of my appellation.
While the designation “Dandelion” is
ubiquitous and cute as a kitten,
that tag is hardly unanimous, especially
with those smitten by Dent-de-lion, which
seems romantic as a French kiss, oui,
but actually means Lion’s Tooth, with
a connotation of great panic, hardly me.
And while useful nominations like Faceclock,
Irish Daisy and Wild Endive, endure,
darker labels like Cankerwort or Swine’s Snout,
even Milk Witch and the dreaded Piss-a-bed
Holy God! leave this plant crazed,
And piss you off?
Sure. Across the ponds there are Blow-flower
or Pusteblume in German and Milk Pot from the Danes,
and Worm Rose, wiggly and sweet, in Sweden,
though in China Pú Gōng Yīng or “flower
that grows in public spaces by the riverside,”
is perhaps a bit much, but still not a mean moniker
like Kleftis, a name which in Greek means thief.
Beyond belief! Which brings us to England where
a prolific lion, once dubbed me the worst dub of all,
to be quite specific, in a play of great fame, if you can
believe it, he claimed, “A weed by any other name
should still be obsolete.”
I prefer to be nameless.
In that case, may I offer you a dram of dandelion wine?
I could not romp with Day 16’s prompt after a conversation last evening with the flamboyant plant in the picture above. You see, yesterday I sent at least 11 of these buttery wonders to their grave without giving it so much as a tink of a think, though I heard a weeping wall of death rattles coming from the compost bin. In short, I ignored them.
Later, because my back was killing me from stooping over, I went for a walk and came across a beautiful field of yellow flowers reaching their hallelujah heads up toward the sky, flowers so brilliant they looked like the sun’s children. I took some photos and returned home, feeling like a murderer, which I am. That’s when the one surviving Sun Child waved at me and, after I wept and begged for forgiveness, which was given, we had our little chat.
Sun Child’s leaf, from Wikimedia Commons