garden lilac

I placed some of our lilac cuttings in a vase for inspiration as I consider today’s poem.

Our Pacific Northwest flowers are a delicate pink: not purple like the pictures that adorn air freshener products for your bathroom.

Local lilacs are called Syringa vulgaris.

Syringa refers to the branches: flutes, pipes or syringes—from which indigenous people made pipes.

The Miwok used the plants for baskets.

Vulgaris means common or typical.

Lilacs are part of the olive family, I discovered on the website Plant Watch: Oleaceae.

Cousin plants include the yellow forsythia and jasmines, which we’ve planted throughout our garden.


The Lilac

Maybe this time

I’ll be subtle

Like the garden lilacs in

Full bloom.

The most delicate smell

Gentle as a touch.






About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in 30poemsin30days, american indian, Indian, Miwok, native press and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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