Ode to Rhododendrons

floribundum, kesangiae, denudatum
oligocarpum, asterochnoum, farinosum
sinofalconeri, flinckii, coeloneuron

Poems written on the land
hailing from lands spun afar
Northeast Bhutan, Vietnam
Arunachal Pradesh of India
Guangxi, Northern Guizhou
Daliang Shan and Yunnan provinces of China
ceremonies of a painter’s palette
creamy yellows, pale pinks, bright fuschias
strawberry reds, crimson & vermillion
an array of whites, purple blotches.

You rival Benjamin Moore
collection of paint samples
in one season of spring
who can keep up with you?

Collective of colour and foliage
confirmed in the wild
you flourish in the Asian garden
long after you are chased by lovers
you are faithful to bloom
and give us hope to keep cultivating
what grows within us.


Celeste Snowber, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, SFU
Artist in Residence in the UBC Botanical Garden