Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

Green Nation – The Monarchy Of Roses March 8, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 9:00 am
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Hallos!
@Hl_Blue has handled the Green Nation so far and he’s done a superb job in sharing two very interesting pieces that revolve around the government of plants, the attending feuds and the battle for survival. Today, we all enjoy a fresh angle to the picture together, you and I and @Hl_Blue himself.
 
Welcome to Green Nation – The Monarchy Of Roses by @_thinktank_, one whose stories are usually as interesting as they as mentally exciting

 

...Gang Green Gang...


 

So far..
 

Green Nation I
 

Green Nation II
 

I was the ugly sister. The universally despised member of the clan. The one that did not fit preconceived notions and acceptable standards of what is good and true and beautiful. This was no fault of mine for I was born this way. Which of us has the power to design ourselves before birth? Which amongst us that looks upon our features with pride can claim praise for the craftsmanship that worked our beauty? Still, we who did not fit in were mocked and despised. I do not tell you this in lamentation, I tell you for your knowledge and for that reason only because your knowledge of it is pertinent to the rest my story.

 

I was born into a royal sap-line but I possessed none of the features of royalty. I was birthed with an abnormally thick stalk and prominent thorns while my sisters were slender and their thorns were nearly imperceptible. When they spread themselves, they produced thin, beautiful silhouettes on the earth beneath us and their appearance in the light of the life-giver was glorious – a fitting visage for flowers of royal descent. I, by contrast, was thick and bulky; still this was the least of my disfigurements for I was by some cruel twist of fate, born with a very different pigmentation from every other member of my family both living and before me. I was generally left to my own devices and looked upon from afar with pity and scorn by my own family. Who could blame them? No one wanted to associate with the aberration.

 

On that wretched day when my sisters and I were kidnapped from the bosom of our mother and the comfort of our home, we knew that we would not live much past our abduction for none of our clan ever does well without the support of the family structure, without the connection to the earth from which our sustenance would come. This tragic state of affairs was made more so by the unfortunate timing of our abduction for we had just been pollinated and our rosehips were swollen with seed. Knowing that our time was short, we began to prepare to free the seed, willing the almighty Gaia to send her messengers to come quickly so that our essences may live on.

 

We were placed erect in a small water prison from which we drew minor sustenance but we knew it would not last long. Water was merely a conduit by which we received our nutrients from the earth. To place us in the pipeline without any connection to a source was either cruel villainy or ill-thought out folly or perhaps both but whichever it was, this was what our captors had done. My sisters whispered secrets to each other using what little dissolved potassium there was in the water, faint hints of which I received but only when the message was degraded beyond comprehension. I was not bothered by this, I had always been ostracized and left out of important discussions. While they whispered their secrets with the potassium, I busied myself with absorbing as much of the nitrogen and phosphorus as I could through my stalk. It was a most strenuous exercise but I was determined to live long enough to see my seed disseminated. My lifelong handicap turned out to be a blessing as the greater surface area of my thick stalk gave me accelerated access to what little nutrients there were in the water. This wide stalk also ensured that I was favoured by photosynthesis to digest these nutrients and convert them to much needed energy. Energy was life and every minute I lived was another chance for Gaia to send her messengers. They had to come for my seed soon. I was determined to extend my life for as long as possible to see it so.

 

At the third setting of the life-giver, my sisters ceased their conniving and finally spoke to me, suggesting that I stop absorbing the essential nutrients and in so doing, sacrifice myself for their survival and procreation –the continuation of our royal sapline. They said that I was unfit to procreate. That it would be a great cruelty to bequeath my ugliness to another generation of our clan. I considered their proposal. Should I sacrifice my woeful difference that their normalcy may live on? That the deviation that was me may perish? No. I rejected this proposal for as much as I loved my sisters and our family, I wanted to seed my seed taken and given a chance to survive. I was unsure why but every fibre of my xylem and phloem screamed at me not to agree to my sisters’ thinly-veiled attempt to be rid of me and in so doing save themselves. And so I refused. They mocked me, then screamed at me and swore at me and said many horrible things no sister should ever say to another but I remained silent, after all, I was the ugly, outcast one. I was the one betraying the family. I turned my face from them and they raised their petals above mine to assert their superiority. I did not protest.

 

When the life-giver rose again I strained myself to receive as much of his light as I could. My sisters, realizing that most of the nitrogen and phosphorus essential to their livelihoods had been consumed whilst they had been whispering secrets, began to desperately strain their thin stalks in an attempt to absorb more quickly. They lowered their raised petals in order to give their stalks more access to water. I watched their attempts with pity. But in their struggle I began to see my purpose, why I was built this way. Their slender slim stalks were built for beauty and not survival as I was. I was a survivor. Built to live where my sisters would die.

 

Just as the eldest of my sisters began to plead with me for some manner of help, we were both lifted from our watery prison suddenly by a great pale monster – one of our original captors. I instinctively directed my thorns to my attacker and was quickly placed back into the prison while my sister was taken away. I watched with my younger sister as our sibling was handed from one monster to another who placed our sister in a tangled mess of blonde, glossy strings atop her head. We knew she was doomed for there could be no sustenance in that place. We said a silent prayer to Gaia for her.

 

Another setting of the life-giver came and went, but my other sister was already losing her essence. I was watching her die slowly. She did not even have the energy to send me potassium messages. Her petals had lost color and her stalk began to bend. I knew she was gone even before the end finally came.

 

“Oh Walter look! By the window! The two roses in the jar! The red one is bent and shrivelled but the pink one still looks lovely. You know, if you look at it from here, it looks like the Red one is bowing down to the Pink one. It’s strangely poetic don’t you think, Walter?

 

Here stands a beautiful and proud single red rose humbled by hunger, bowing to her sister…

 

begging for food perhaps?”

 

“Julia, my darling Julia, you have a writers mind and a poet’s soul. I don’t know why you chose to become a software engineer…”

 

I could sense from the vibrations of the air that the monsters were communicating but I did not care what they had to say. I cared only for my survival. As I watched my sister slowly slump and eventually collapse into the water, I let out a signal to say goodbye even though I knew she would never receive it. On some level, to my shame, I was glad, for her death would bring me sustenance for a few more days at least.

 

Three more comings and goings of the life-giver had occurred since my sisters’ demise and I was barely hanging onto my life. Nutrients had long left the water and I was subsisting on stored energy from days past. I had continued my prayers to and pleading with Gaia and was becoming weary of them when it appeared. My being leapt with joy as I spotted a cream-feathered cedar waxwing perch on the windowsill beside me. I began to vibrate my petals and wriggle my rosehips to my centre. The waxwing, sensing that food was nearby, came closer. Under normal circumstances, I would have waited for my petals to naturally fade before revealing my hips to a feeder from Gaia but these were extraordinary circumstances and required an extraordinary sacrifice. I had been preparing for this since we were first abducted. I summoned what energy was left in me from my leaves and broke the joint that attached my petal to my stalk. The pain I felt was terrible but I endured it and I willed the Waxwing to look closer and see the rosehips that were his escape from starvation and my route to immortality. The bird came even closer. This time I saw the sparkle in his eye as he reached into the jar and plucked my rosehip from my stalk just as one of the pale monsters came running to the window.

 

Relief washed over me as I watched the waxwing take flight into the pale blue sky, swallowing my hips as he did. I could now die safe in the knowledge that my sapline would survive me. My daughters would sprout from the seeds that the waxwing would excrete when he was sated and one of them would be queen of her own rose bush. Not a pink outsider in a sea of red – a mutant oddity. She would be a queen and her sisters would surround her proudly. They would possibly grow to be greater and more beautiful than their red cousins for I knew now that I served a purpose. I was not built for beauty like my delicate and beautiful red sisters, I was built to survive, to protect and to take over.

 

My pink petals were a banner of strength and victory and a purposeful beauty. Even though I had never been a princess, I had never been the ugly sister. I have always been the warrior queen…

 

…and I am dying a warrior’s death.

 

****************************

 

Thanks to The Afromuse, @HL_Blue, @MsJulz and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers for the inspiration

 
 
@_thinktank_ shares his art here. Please visit.
 
 

@HL_Blue shares his art here. Please visit.
 
 

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January 25, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,


Hallos!
@Hl_Blue, shared Green Nation I with us all last year, a government of plants, a story of feuds and a fierce will to surmount survival. A fierce will to be king of a world that we’re a part of but oblivious to.
 
Welcome to Green Nation II which is so much more!

 

...Gang Green Gang...

 
Fear was not an emotion familiar to us. Our kindred community had survived the ravages of countless adversities to emerge as the fourth largest tribe in the Plant Kingdom. We could look back on our historical wars with green pride. But this… this was… different. Not the end of life, but the end of life as we knew it.
 
For three days the sun could not shine through. The column of invaders, who ironically derived their name from our family, continued to move slowly overhead, obliterating everything remotely edible in its path. In their millions they fell at intervals to devour, no, ravage and rape anything in the likeness of a plant. Stems, barks, and shallow roots disappeared in seconds. It was enough to sway the resolve of our figurehead ruler, the Bamboo. Yes, sway was the word, for we the Grass did not shake. Let Mother Nature howl and curse and rage. We would sway, bend, dance in the storm even, but we would never break, shake or be felled.
 
When the multi-mile horde was exhausted and sated, they decided to move on. They behaved like us because they fed on us. They had no ruler, but they advanced without breaking rank. When one decided it was time to move on, everyone decided at the same time. And after the action was taken, no one knew who had initiated it. No one would even care either way. This was no monarchy as with the Oaks or the four-footed simpletons who wandered by from time to time. Together we faced our issues, and together we had always overcome. Until now…
 
The landscape looked almost as deserted as the Sahara which lay just to the North. No, it was not the grasshopper horde that gave us major concern. It was the Sand to the north, the Sahara. Rumors of its approach had chilled the stems of even the most perennial among our tribe. Would we ever wake up from a catastrophe as huge as the barren Sand? The attempts we had made to bolster our defenses against the encroaching Sand had just suffered a most terrible setback – The grasshopper horde. Why we had neglected to focus on climate alteration efforts we had no idea. Wind control was not a fully developed weapon in our arsenal because we never imagined we would ever need to be so drastic as to sweep away a grasshopper horde with column dimensions in miles. The timing of their invasion, at the beginning of the Harmattan season, was as awful as it could get. The last tears of the preceding twin daughter of Climate, the Wet Season, had fallen just last week. We would not see Wet for the next eight full moons. Harmattan would be our Tyrannical Guide to sure extinction.
 
Perhaps the Grass actually needed a Benevolent Master. This abominable thought was silently whispered and even made possible just because of the humbling news of the utter devastation of our North American cousins, the LongStems of the Great Prairie. Their pride before such disgraceful disaster was a silent lesson to us that perhaps in the evolving world, we the Grass might be forced to adopt outlandish survival ideas. We would need to sway really low to conquer.
 
Behavior modification was our forte. We commanded the mobile neighbors to do our bidding in the annihilation of our pretender plant species. Plants would not easily yield to our forceful persuasions so we were left with the four-footed and six-legged creatures that came to derive sustenance from us. From the ants to the elephants, we ruled their minds and made them think they were in control whereas they were not. When our spores penetrated the heads of the ants, they would feel the sudden need for shade, hobbling over to the nearest leafy enemy to take shelter while our spores overloaded their miniscule imaginations with hallucinatory images of endless rivers of sugar and honey. They happily died with their mandibles securely fastened in a death grip on the undersides of the leaves of our competitors. Even the windstorm would not knock them off this vice-like hold. When our spores matured, the rich nutrients of the ant carcass would be ample food, until we could exert direct parasitic influence on those dregs of plant society known as the Leaf.
 
The boastful thoughts of our domination were necessary for our morale and the clear thinking needed to surmount our present challenge. So we continued to reminisce, turning our collective consciousness to the largest moving land animals – The Elephants. The introduction of a few tannins into their diet converted them to the most loyal of subjects. So gullible were these beasts! They immediately obeyed our instructions to push down the tall trees providing shade for our leafy pretenders to high plant society. The high dehydration rate resulting from exposure to the Sun meant only the true plants would survive, ensuring perpetuation of the Order of the Grass without competition from the Leaf. Did the elephants realize they could cool themselves under the shade of the very trees they pushed down? No! They believed what we told them and threw dust and clods of earth over their backs instead, helping propagate our spores while imagining they were cooling themselves. Yes, when the Grass fought, the elephants suffered.
 
But for the present trial we would need to hunt fairer game. The Buffalo came by in their search for food. Would they be able to serve a purpose superior to what we had commanded from others? One particular member of their species appeared restless and eager to be leader. His surefootedness did not subtract from our open disgust at his ignorant quest for competition. When would these walking creatures, one and all, realize that world domination would only be achieved by the species that most demonstrated its unity of mind and purpose sans competition?! Surefoot had engaged the head of his buffalo clan, Widowmaker, in a fight almost to the death over a fair cow-buffalo who showed no signs of caring about the outcome. The fight was brief. The Widowmaker retained his position as head of the flock, while banishment was decreed for Surefoot with no possibility of return or parole. Who made these barbaric rules?!
 
We watched the spectacle of the wandering young bull with interest, sensing that Mother Nature was about to slip us a message through this unfolding scene. Somehow we could not see Surefoot fitting into any of our plans as yet. But we noticed some new actors on our stage. We had not seen their kind before. They walked on two legs and made sounds like the clap of thunder, sounds at which birds took to flight and herds of buffalo and giraffes turned to flee. Even the elephants tacitly acknowledged their power. So these were the humans we had heard so many stories of, the very same humans whose cultivation and settlement activities had brought the LongStems of the Great American Prairie to naught. They appeared arrogant, irreverent, and aware of their surroundings. They walked as though they owned the whole world. We could not see any physical signs that these weak creatures were the perpetrators of all the heinous deeds that had been ascribed to them by the silent whispers and rumors borne by the wind to our collective ears. Apparently, they ruled the world by some superior intelligence and their flagrant disregard for nature.
 
The plot thickened. Surefoot was being challenged by the two-legged demon intruders. Thunder sounded in abnormally quick succession from these two humans as Surefoot charged madly at one of them unswervingly. The human was tossed sky-high on Surefoot’s horns and did not survive. His partner was forced to flee while Surefoot continued his mad flight of fear and survival far off into the distance.
 
The lesson was obvious. We had found the new mental slaves for catering to our needs in the new dispensation. Not the buffalo. Those dumb beasts knew nothing compared to the gods of thunder. The humans would do a good job. We would teach them what to do. They would study us. They would find out what we needed. They would reseed and replant us. They would churn the soil to soften it for our roots. Even hostile environments would be made hospitable. We would make them believe their future as a species, nay the whole planet as a whole, depended massively on our survival. And survive we would, as we had for countless millennia before now. After all, we remained the Grass of Green Nation.
 
 
Notes
 
Pretender – one who aspires to an office above his/her perceived status
 
 
@HL_Blue shares his art here. Please visit.
 
 

 

 
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