running naked
through the city,

crying and screaming,

the kings daughters
put on quite a show

melampus cured
their madness with
a herbal wonder:

known as the 
poster child for
chemical war,

the reason we
won't accept
poison in war.

helleborus helps
make an interesting
bouquet, a beauty
in its own right,

and welcome
addition to a
basic bouquet. 

i've no deadly secrets
that i'd hide from you.

not such a wonder
as a helleborus,
in any way i know.

3 thoughts on “Helleborus

  1. Quite extraordinary, Murray! Hellebores hold a unique place for me, especially associated with January in England.

    I hadn’t heard of Melampus before and now I am exploring his rich legacy in cllassical literature.

    How erudite you are … thank you!


    1. Thank you writingpresence!

      I’m no expert on hellebores. It seems that there are many. The one in my photograph was in a bouquet in the floral department at the grocery store.

      I looked up “hellebores mythology” in Wikipedia and ran into Melampus and the biological weapon information. I felt it should be in the poem, for interest.


      Liked by 1 person

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