One Spring

Beneath a mutant cherry-blossom tree,
Tiger reclined. Monkey chittered with glee,
scooped up three pawfuls of fallen pink
petals, and sprayed them onto his crown.

He snorted, a little amused, and took a puff,
then showed her a line of foul old fine-drawn teeth.
Hanging from a branch, she blinked and shook
it, and onto them both, petals rained down endless.

– Gord Sellar

No, I haven’t taken up smoking. It’s just that there’s an old Korean proverb about “back in the old days” and it begins, “Back when the tigers smoked…” I like to play with this, my sign in the Chinese zodiac being a Tiger.

But there really are mutant cherry blossom trees in Jeonju, with this gigantic fat blossoms that stay in bloom longer than normal ones. They’re not mutant so much as genetically engineered to be that way, I’m told. But they look like mutant trees in the X-Men sense of the word.

April 25, 2004

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