Murder in the field


And so the murder victim was dumped into the blue-eyed grass, which, quite naturally, witnessed the whole sordid thing. But how much weight does testimony from plant life carry? There was a case, in Lithuanian, where a dumb-cane ratted on a counterfeiter, but I don’t think the jury was impressed. But I could be misremembering, as often happens on those shoulder days between winter and spring, between madness and lucidity. You know the days. They are neither fish nor fowl. And, while we are on the subject, evidentiary testimony from fish (or fowl) is highly unreliable, though in a pinch you may be happy to call on a rainbow trout to deliver that knockout punch you so desperately need to advance your fledgling career as a prosecutor. Because without successes, there’s no fame or notoriety or cranberry-colored sports cars. And without winter, there’s no spring. Still, it’s pretty hard to get a cogent statement from sedges or from any type of grass. The best one could hope for is that some members of the jury are so buoyed at seeing a clump of sorghum being dragged into court, leaving a messy trail of mud and detritus, which a gawky paralegal must clean up, that they buy into the sweet sorghum story.

So you can see that there are difficulties in getting non-sentient life forms to clinch a case for you, not because they don’t have anything to say, but rather that we are unlikely to understand their subtle language, which leads us again to madness.

Pictured is Sisyrinchium bermudiana, our national flower. It’s some sort of Iris, which explains why it’s so good at seeing clandestine cum murderous activity or at spying on the sun, a sort of self-imposed chaperone. The sun, that giant cyclops, watches us mercilessly, so why shouldn’t slender and graceful Irises watch it? Naturally it’s a rhetorical question, but I won’t hold that against anyone who feels compelled to provide an answer.




  1. Beautiful flower!


  2. A brilliant post, Prospero, and a rhetorical question that requires no answer. But when did that ever stop some of us? Sisyrinchium Bermudiana (Sissy from Bermuda, to us folksy types) looks too sweet to appear in court, though that in itself could sway a jury. She may be an iris, but she looks nothing like the Iris germanica which once crowded the edge of my driveway in NH. Of course, irises are good for seeing, and I imagine mine, being bearded, would also add a certain gravitas to the proceedings in a murder case.

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    • But imagine, if you will, a black-eyed Susan testifying against a murderess called Susan–oh the possibilities!

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      • I can almost imagine it…though It might better take your own fertile and idiosyncratic mind to do it Justice.

        (Where I grew up we called them brown-eyed Susans. Not that it makes any real difference to a rudbeckia.)

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      • Yes, my heroine and dainty murderess, Susan Rudbeckia, will surely animate the (long, arduous) pages of a novelette I am about to pen; and naturally one still harks back to the days of old when pens were in common use, and since ‘I am about to keyboard’ a dreadful, postmodern story about a little charmer–whose delightful eyes, sometimes black, sometimes brown–sounds bad, I am going with penning.

        And it’s this sort of fussy editing that will see (pay attention Irises) my sales plummet–or, more precisely, have the second buyer in as many years return the non-dogeared, slim though attractive booklet (bought on sale at some forlorn bookshop) for a full and unconditional refund, and this, among other things, is a downer.

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      • A downer for sure, any thought about editors, book markets, and the pursuit of readers. keyboards and screens are good for editing. Blogs are good for finding readers. But I must use my pen to bring my writing onto a page..penna e folio…plume et feuille…feather and leaf…. at first. Thought travels from the heart-mind, into the hand, and through the pen. Forget the downers. Write on!….with a pen…which is mightier than a gladiolus, among other things.


      • Ferns make ideal editors as you can hang them out on the balcony and watch them flit and twitch in the perverse silence that only a thick pane of glass can offer. I’m afraid that I have little to say about readers as I generally hold then in lower esteem than editors, but somewhat above poison ivy.

        I do not raise an orangey sword-pen (but rather take near random stabs at a bible-black keyboard*), yet I am tickled that you still use a pen–really I am (do you really? I’m awestruck).

        *Apologies to Dylan Thomas:
        It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, ..

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  3. Very clever Prospero – do love the whole tale of the murder victim and dumping into the blue-eyed grass. And speaking of Rudbeckia, mine are coming up splendidly this year and won’t be a witness in this trial!

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    • That’s a shame. Are any of your hot-pink Cosmos plants available for hire this summer as expert witnesses (experts in cosmological matters, which goes without saying)?


    • Considering how often bodies are dumped in fields–if plants could talk, criminals would shiver! Loved the clever humor.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, my dear Prospero, it is the old choice between analog and digital, human gesture vs. mechanical tapping, continuous flow vs. pixillated bits. (I have been a professional calligrapher in my time and penned with reeds, goose quills, fountain pens, ballpoints, penne pasta, and pointed popsicle sticks). But I am a living anachronism. Mirabilis jalapa, on my back porch—if you can catch her at happy hour—will attest to that fact, and that I especially enjoy a clock with a face.

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  5. Flora, fauna, the universe and the gods stay silent, as if they just do not want to get involved with humans. Mum’s the word.


  6. Lovely flower – so beautiful ! I am following your lovely blog . Have a happy day.


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