“Eau de Bohemia” by Susan Hayden

(for Philomene Long, in beloved memory)
“It will be apparent that it is difficult
to discern which properties each thing
possesses in reality.”
(Democritus, 8th century B.C.)
pixbyamelia copy

If you were a perfume, it would be Earthy,
the top note a forest blend
that would descend into oakmoss
and fresh mown grass,
a mercurial bath of Irish whiskey.
It would smell like your dreams,
the ripening of first fruit
and bloodroot
with heart notes of orange groves;
Los Angeles,
before the permanent roads.
The dry down would reveal
cracked leather and lavender rose,
poetry and prose as a saltwater path
toward the Boardwalk sun;
at once a yearning and a leap
of heat meets alchemy.
Your scent would be worn
by both peasants and royalty:
Slaves to the half-open window,
queens beneath the arch of the doorway,
counting the days in sighs
while memorizing escape routes.
Eau de Bohemia:
A tenacious fragrance
with a lasting theme
and a dreamy aroma that lingers.
The wearer will feel signs and seasons.
The wearer will feel worthy of anointment,
with good reason.
© 2008


  1. lkthayer · March 11, 2014

    Susan, your poems have a ” dreamy aroma that lingers…”
    as you would say so eloquently, love you. – LK.

  2. Susan Hayden · March 12, 2014

    And I love you, Plush. Thanks 4 appreciating this poem. xSH

  3. Fred Whitlock · March 12, 2014

    You have captured her spirit so well. The scent, the aroma, the fragance hits my sense. I breathe in deeply when I read these words.

  4. Susan Hayden · March 12, 2014

    That is so sweet + meaningful to me, Fred Whitlock.

  5. DM SIMONS · March 12, 2014

    I love it. Funny, that stink, when you meet the person, that their scent, their essence saturates every pore of your body, your mind. The cleavage from them—time, distance—when they aren’t there, that absence makes you long for it, clasp it more dearly than when they are present, and if there loss is long the memory of what was special fills your nostrils, fills your eyes with the wetness of life, of sharing, you can smell it on the pillow , the sheets, your coat, the hair clinging in a brush; it fills you to the core of your being sinking to your feet till you float down paths of memories, till the goose flesh rises on your arms, on the nape of the neck because they, their scent is so powerful as an alchemy, as an unctuous oil that can be slowly poured secretly over the choice of the heart and no matter the scent that rises— that scent is home.
    Your poem captures that ache, so sweet, so poignant, which is the stuff we are made of that human substance—love.
    Beautiful, Susan, beautiful

  6. Susan Hayden · March 14, 2014

    That is a poem in itself. Thank you so much, Dm Simons..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s