The Scent of Beauty

Agawela is climbing
The impossible tree,
Searching higher
For the unreachable.
Through the fresh citrus
Scent of glossy green leaves,
Is another, illusive, fragrance,
Calling, a reminder of
Beauty and safety and
Strength, long ago.
Long thorns are everywhere.
She sits a moment to rest
From her climbing search,
Honoring the memory, the
Long ago thorn tree
With her blood.
Quite still, almost invisible
She thinks she hides
Her beauty behind
The pain of thorns,
And the shiny leaves.
If she is high enough,
Between Earth and Sky.
Protected by thorns,
By thin branches, then
No one can reach her.
Who would search here?
Only she seeks comfort in
The beauty and danger.
Protected from memory by
The Scent of Beauty
No one will know
She is not behind
The misery, hidden
By beautiful danger.
She is her own misery,
With her pillow
Of thistles
Softening her fear
When sleeping
In childhood dreams.
Where does that flower
Scent come from?
It can not be found,
Standing safely on
The ground,
Or in the comfort of
Loving strong arms.
It is a tree top vine,
Twistings dreams and illusions,
Tiny flowers invisible.
Where is it?
Amongst the thorns
She climbs higher,
Holding tight,
Her sense of balance gone.
Lost years ago,
Balance was left impaled
On another thorn tree,
In another season.
Perhaps she would have fallen
To the ground,
To exposure and being found,
Had not the thorns slowed
Her descent.
No balance, no up, no down,
Only safety behind danger
Misery enveloped, contained in
The Scent of Beauty.
Agawela leaves strands
Of silvery hair tangled
Amongst the thorns
A thank you to the tree
A thank you for the
Scent of Beauty,
The feeling of safety,
For the butterflies, and
Ants and sky and clouds,
For the birds nesting.
Some of Agalwela’s hair,
Her blood, her joy,
Her song in the tree,
Her search for the unreachable,
Those are her thank you,
Received by thorns.

Bear … 04.10.2014
ⓒ Bearspawprint
Agawela = Old Woman — Cherokee (Tsalagi)


13 comments on “The Scent of Beauty

  1. Nomzi Kumalo says:

    Hello dear Bear, Mari Boine is struck to the earth by your words. This poem of yours is so beautiful. I am busy sitting with her in her kitchen, and she tells me to let you know that she would love to sing this song. 🙂
    Please let me know what you think. Is that not truly amazing? We are busy working on new music together. She says a big hello and so do I. Have a wonderful Easter. 🙂


    • Dear Nomzi

      I can’t think of anything more fun than working on new music, or old music for that matter. Especially in a kitchen . Well, a BIG kitchen. I am tickled all over to be included in your kitchen working visit of poetry and music.

      I am honored that you shared my words in such a venue My email is: bearspawprint at

      Thank you for all that you have done, Nomzi. I can’t think of anyone else with whom I would be more pleased to share my work.

      Big Hello back to both of you 🙂



      • Nomzi Kumalo says:

        Dear Bear 🙂

        Very exciting times here. We spoke about your poem in the night. Even this morning, about hiding in danger. Have you heard of Ane Brun? She has a wonderful song about how hard it is to be happy in the safe. It is called ‘Changing of the Seasons’. I love that song. I was at her concert on Monday and it was absolutley amazing.

        Now Mari has your email so you two can connect and see where the journey takes you. 🙂


        • probably ya’ll read this … it is a hint at some local historical background My own personal experiences are not so different.

          I found Ane on You Tube. Thank you for yet another musician/poetess, new to me. 🙂

          Concert on Monday, (Monday ?? !! ) working in the night, and morning, child in school and now it is weekend … do you ever sleep? Perhaps school and work hours and days are arranged differently in Norway, than in North America. Certainly urban rhythms are different than rural 🙂

          Anyway, I am quite curious to see where this all goes. Thank you, Nomzi


          • Nomzi Kumalo says:

            Good day Bear 🙂

            I was saying that I went to a concert of Ane Brun’s a week ago and it was incredible.
            Lol. Yes I do sleep and I manage to have very full and wonderful days too. School and work hours are pretty much standard here. Nothing unusual. Perhaps the summer holidays are longer. In South Africa the summer holidays are around Chrsitmas time.

            The world is your oyster Bear. Have a fantastic week. And you are most welcome. 🙂


          • Have you ever shucked oysters? Aaargh!!

            The oyster analogy is true from the hard work of harvesting oysters to the surprise of hidden pearls.

            Thanks, again.


          • Nomzi Kumalo says:

            No I have not. I have only watched the men do it. Some make it look so easy, others make it look like a disaster. Lol.


    • P.S. I am incorporated as Bearspawprint. The logo I use on my drawings is a trademark.


    • You must have been reading aloud? Perhaps it is your voice that lent melody to my words for Mari’s ears? I found the video you sister uploaded. Nice 🙂

      I think Easter is celebrated on a different Sunday, than here. This year it is April 20. The 13th is Palm Sunday. Different every year. I wish you many Hallelujahs .

      Bear aka Bearspawprint


      • Nomzi Kumalo says:

        Good morning again 🙂

        Oh no, your words just flew out from the screen all on their own. We read them out aloud at first and then each lived out the words in our heads and our hearts. It is wonderful how words can move and heal us. So thank you for that.

        Yes, today is Palm Sunday. Easter Sunday is 20 April. The schools are closed for a week. This is good. Many Hallelujahs to you too dear Bear. 🙂



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