Thursday, 24 October 2013

message in a bottle?

there’s a shelf 
near my tub,
piled with baffling mixtures 
of potions and oils,
extracts and elixirs –

to renew  
and restore, 
reinvent and refine: 
olive butter my body 
and  . . . 
mint julep my mind.

there are masks for my eyes  
and cheeks . . .
chin, neck and nose . . .
and a bottle that offers me: 
strawberry toes.

little gifts, through the years,  
from my dear ones to me 
selected, and given with thought, lovingly.

a shiny assortment of jars, tubes and bling  
all, to boost and diminish, 
define, hide and cling.

a magnificent, fine, alchemistic array.
though, I wonder:  
what is it, they’re trying to say.

“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.”  - Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Essays, Volume III:  de Feneficiis.

photos:  Message in a Bottle – W. Bourke 

© 2013 Wendy Bourke


  1. By the time I got to "olive butter my body," I was almost laughing out loud. Humorous and bright clear to the last line. I love pretty little bottles and tubes of various potions - but I tend to forget to use them!

    Maybe it's time for me to include a post about your blog (and a link to this poem) at my blog. Let me know if that's okay...

  2. Actually, maybe I should post the actual poem?

  3. Thank you for your lovely comments, Janet. I really enjoy writing humorous little pieces. (A compilation of my previous posted humorous poems is at I have toyed with the idea of creating a new current humorous poetry blog - though, it's an area where I haven't - thus far - been able to gauge the interest. There isn't a lot of it out there. So any help, getting the word out, would be very much appreciated. Posting "message in a bottle?" on your blog, or linking to it would be wonderful - whatever works for you. Thanks, again. You made my day!

  4. Thank you so much, Janet, for featuring “message in a bottle?” on your blog: twigs&stones ( As a fan of your work – in particular, your ability to create lovely, insightful captures that resonate with human warmth and observation – I am truly touched by your gracious, sharing gesture!