What is a Century Plant? The Sunday Whirl #40

Agave is perennial, with a charm of
rosettes whispering from spiral mast,
scattering her delicate sisters over
extensive torrid land, the juice within
your belly intoxicating and sweet;
honey water clings to the trumpets of
blossoms, roasted, eaten from the fire,
extracting sugarcane as a fierce sun
crushes its cheek on ashen land … strong threads
and leaves urge modest shelters where natives
eat stars by instinct, spilling forth shards of
old stories; while weaving with knack and ease
her legend’s patterns of mysticism,
Gods of thorns cast rosettes, flowers, and stalks


36 responses to “What is a Century Plant? The Sunday Whirl #40

  1. A great bit of wordling.

  2. A wonderfully descriptive poem here, Pamela!

  3. Pamela- I love how you described the rosettes of the agave as sisters.


  4. How gorgeous and what a great topic. My brain took one look at the words and left. I may go back and look at them, or I may just reread your poem 🙂


    • Thanks Margo, some of these words were difficult to say the least.
      I have been thinking about the agave lately. We have 7 aloe plants in our yard, when we moved here two years ago, there were only two. Apparently, the agave is a sister to the aloe (or closely related). The aloe has the same type of blossom that grows from its center, though, I don’t know if it is edible. The indigenous still use the agave as a source of food and shelter, and of course the ever popular tequila is manufactured from her. I have read also that the Aztec used her for clothing, paper, needles, etc… but I don’t know if that is still occurring. A friend of mine told me the story of how the natives extract the aquamiel from the center, pulque is the fermented honey milk from what I gather. I see it sold in the more remote areas in the state here. I imagine it is a natural moonshine, which I have no plans on trying. Tequila and I don’t see eye to eye. 🙂

  5. I loved it all but the expression ‘where natives eat stars’ brings up some wonderful imagery.

  6. This is gorgeous, Pamela. I live to far north to see the agave in its natural habitat… Thank you for painting that image for us. Stunning piece.

  7. In the desert they are enormous with beautiful blossoms at the center, Brenda. Thanks.

  8. “eat stars by instinct” whoa!

  9. This is absolutely gorgeous, Pamela! I LOVE the creative way you were able to use the words this time. I thought they were just too hard and almost gave up. But your poem is splendid! And fascinating! Bravo!

  10. Thanks Marianne. It wasn’t all that simple, I had to step away from it on several occasions. I would write a line or two, save it, and come back to it later. I tried to keep it 10 syllables per line with 14 lines total. I knew what I wanted to write about, but I wasn’t sure if it would work. Some parts still seem clumsy, but it is a piece I will revise when I have the time.

  11. Such a feast for all the senses! Thank you!

  12. Words and how to make it work. You’ve done an excellent job of it, Pam.


  13. strong threads
    and leaves urge modest shelters where natives
    eat stars by instinct, spilling forth shards of
    old stories;

    Love this! A beautiful poem.

  14. Thanks for stopping by. Love where you took the words. There is a bit of magic in your poem.


  15. Very good and wonderful read too.

  16. Oh my I have fallen in love with the agave. Your words drip with everything I needed to read this evening. I really like this poem.

  17. Wow Pamela, this was wonderful! I absolutely loved it. 🙂 This must be one of my favourtes of yours.

  18. Pamela,

    I loved the departure from the theme of many of the other wordles I have read so far. Living in South Texas, we have agave plants here, too — I loved reading your poetic description! I have a friend who is highly allergic to agave, so your contrast to my friend’s opinion was made even more enjoyable! 🙂


  19. Thanks Paula. I have not read yours yet.

  20. Pamela, I really enjoyed reading this. It was so visual – and yet suggested so much. I like the mystical element, which I think runs throughout – something vital in the desert.


  21. Richard, there is an enticing beauty in the desert, that is mystic and sustaining. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  22. Wonderful images again, Pamela.

I appreciate all comments.

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