March 2, 2015: Rosemary

~by Paula Veloso Babadi

One year, I had two beautifully shaped rosemary topiaries. It was delightful to be around them and break off a piece of the tough spikey leaves to take in its intense fragrance. Rosemary itself has a multitude of uses and a rich history – it is down to earth, but topiaries require planning, precision, and persistent care to get it to the desired form. I gave up on taming them. But I have trailing rosemary today that spreads freely and cascades over its pot. It is happy just being rosemary and not having to conform to a predetermined shape. I have learned to love watching how it takes on a life of its own and am content to clip here and there once in a while as a loving gardener does, otherwise letting it grow as it will. I could say the same for my youngest son.


Simple and complex
polished and wild
intense and down to earth
“dew of the sea”
the stuff of legend,
rich with history and ripe
with myriad medicinal magic
no neatly clipped topiary
trailing over the pot’s rim
seeking freedom with roots well grounded
safe within familiar walls,
sharp needles belie the flower
tough branches never tell the tale
of clippings sowing subtle flavor in the stew
he is beloved
my rosemary son.


Paula Veloso Babadi has worked in the health care industry for over thirty five years, but her true passion is poetry. She is a member of the St. John’s Chapter of the national Catholic Writers Guild and a regular contributor to the St. Joseph’sReflections Newspaper. Growing up in England and Pensacola with her Filipino and British parents and marrying into her Iranian family, she now lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, daughter and nearby three grown sons and grandchildren.

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