Beauty Hunting

Last month for a poem in the Open Write, I did research about saffron crocuses. This poem resulted:

Rose of Saffron
Out in the open
In the full sun
Lies the costliest of all

For thousands of years
It is true
The Crocus Satimus corm
Initiates the process
First lying dormant
Through the heat of summer
Does its wizardry underground

Then the autumn crocus
Burgeons and blossoms
Six purple petals
Cradle the crimson stigmas
And yellow styles

Gentle hands
Carefully pluck out
Three red threads,
Dry and store safely–
150 flowers are needed to make
One gram of spice
(that’s almost 400 flowers to match the mass of a U.S. penny)
Use saffron for
Fancy fragrances
healing and health
Creating golden ambrosial delights
Beauty of the beloved

I haven’t really seen the flowers that produce the spice saffron, but I have definitely gained so much respect and seen the beauty. Because of the costliness, I’m sure there is a lot of corruption and thievery. (Just do a search for how you can spot the “real” costly stuff from pawned-off adulterated versions.)

I have some I just took out of my cupboard that I’ve been afraid to use. All my other spices have opened up my culinary skills and interests in the past Covid-19 stay-at-home season, but the saffron still sat in this tiny case, unused.

However, this prompt today had me free it from the spice cabinet. Tomorrow I was planning to make a pot of masala tea for a socially-distanced tea party with a friend. Today, I decided that I will adjust that plan, adding a few strands of saffron I’ll make Middle Eastern style karak chai.

This saffron was a gift to my husband to use in his Arabic coffee. He hasn’t tried it yet, either.

Today is the first Sunday weekly prompt for The Isolation Journals by Suleika Jaouad. This is prompt 101 and Day 145 in Bahrain’s Covid-19 time.

The prompt today came from Raven Roxanne and is called Beauty Hunting. “Think about the last time you looked at something and noticed a change within—studying a painting, an animal, a flower, a piece of fruit, what you saw through a window. Write about what you saw, and what you felt shift.”

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