belladonna (atropa belladonna), a poem

Belladonna (Atropa belladonna)Image

(originally published in Poetry SuperHighway)


Italians have known since the beginning

how I can make a woman beautiful —

it’s all in the eyes, they must be receptive,


or impenetrable, they must soothe,

or provoke, they must be wide with innocence,

or with knowledge.  People feel like nothing


unless observed seriously,

by a woman with eyes like black stars;

everyone knows the way children call


Watch me, lady, See what I can do! 

That is why those seeking beauty

dilate their pupils with my sap… 


I was also named for Atropos,

the Fate who severs the thread of life. 

I sever men’s hearts, I am that beautiful lady,


I am atropine — I am stinging red

juice used for the dilating effect. 

When I so desire, I flower singly or in pairs,


nodding, my corolla blue-purple or dull red,

according to my mood, or the soil I twine

my pale roots in.  So who do you think you are,


holding back a polite cough?  Deep down, you know

you fell the second I looked at you, seeing right through

your clothes to the naked body you hold so dear.


Filed under poetry

7 responses to “belladonna (atropa belladonna), a poem

  1. Pingback: Indian Belladonna(Atropa acuminata) | Find Me A Cure

  2. I needed to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every
    little bit of it. I have you book-marked to look at new things you post…


  3. Atascocita Babe

    Greetings! I’ve been following your weblog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!


  4. Breathtaking! I was moved by your gift of verse.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thank you so much. then the poem worked!


  6. I discovered your belladonna (atropa belladonna), a poem | Kimberly Townsend Palmer website and I might be interested in a joint poetry/photography project with you.


  7. Liliana Whittle

    Wonderful work. I am a botanist! A plant’s voice is something no one ever thinks about.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s