The Talent Club Poetry Contest: Smoke and Flowers


Hello, everyone.

I took a photo of one of my Nicotiana tabacum which has just begun to flower in near-mid-winter here in Aotearoa / New Zealand. In the background is ivy. The piece I wrote is a loose series of impressions about my relationship to my tobacco plant.

Below is the text of my poem. I hope you enjoy.

Smoke and Flowers

My mistress mumbles sweetly, fuming softly through pinched lips.
Oh God, oh Venus, Mercury, give me another sip.
I don't notice the nuisance of habit.
I'll give you my two cents, I cling to it.
Admit it, you're in some way medicated.
My medicine dissipates heavenward.
Turning matter into thin air,
moving, spreading, blotting in every direction
leaving aromatic trails of particles
both continuous and discrete.

She's just begun to blossom,
telling me it's time to pick.
Such a mass of stalk and leaf,
for one simple, blooming, beautiful tip.

Loose fragrant bright Virginia in bright fresh plastic wrap.
Organic soil and drying racks.
Lend me a little tobacco to distract me from this
"damned writing where one needs one’s brains all the time" business.
I've just gotta have another.
Watch it disappear into ether,
diluted in an infinitude of parts.

(Text and images original work by AlmightyMelon.)

Here is the unmodified photo of my plant, which I took to make the header image.


If you want a silly song to listen to after you read this, try this one:

Thanks so much. I hope you enjoyed!


Great piece. Reads even more fun with the background music 😄
Curious relationship that of smoking, writing, and women
The tabaco flower is actually a very pretty one, and yet the leaf being what matters leaves the flower displaced into the background, I believe. Maybe the stigma of not so glamorous habit (for some) makes the flower associated with that leaf/habit less glamorous.
In my culture smoking tabaco has been traditionally associated with the rustic farming life or with spiritism (brujería).

Good luck in the contest