the smell of parsley

When Emily, transported to heaven in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town is asked what she misses most on earth she says, “The smell of parsley” And in Under Milkwood Dylan Thomas has one of his dead ship-wrecked sailors call out from the underworld
“What is the smell of parsley/”

Parsley apparently was growing wildly in the Mediterren Basin before man. It is a herb so common, like other ordinary things such as youth, such as spring,
we miss them only when they’re gone.

The message for me is enjoy life for it is short. Take time to smell the roses, to smell the parsley , remember to be as much as you can in the present moment so when your time is up you have no regrets. You have the beauty and love with you always.


the smell of parsley

tend the garden
after the rains
knee deep
in wet grass
up to your elbows in soil
and worms
and snails
and ruff of compost

marvel at the ramble
of a pumpkin vine
a stray seed gone free

linger in the fragrance
of chives and basil
coriander rocket and mint

and the smell of parsley

what is the smell of parsley?

savour their bouquet
be jubilant
with the flirt of white moths
and the canticle on the branch above
dwell on your knees
as if in prayer
tending the garden

The Smell of Parsley

This is the fourth section of my Poetry Anthology.  This was the intended name of the book of poetry originally, before the decision was made for the more apt  title:

A Call to Listen.

The Smell of Parsley comes from a quote in the the play Under Milkwood by the poet Dylan Thomas. The blind Captain Cat dreams  of the  drowned sailors from the swamped S.S. Kidwelly and from the after-life the first sailor asks  him loudly and rather whimsically  ‘What’s  the smell of  parsley?  The message I got from this . . . take time to enjoy the senses here on earth for when we die we could miss them.  In Wilder’s play Our Town the  dead character Emily is asked what she misses about life the most , and she answers “I miss the smell of parsely”  Hence The Smell Of Parsely seemed an appropriate title for this section of the book which deals with  the senses including autumn and winter and jacarandas and moments in the garden. Enjoy the next  9 poems.