Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

OctPoWriMo #8: Scent

Scientists say smell and taste are closely linked;
some 20,000 different scents can be found in the kitchen,
that vary by 10 levels of intensity.
Welcome to my kitchen and that aromatic lifting of spirits
when cinnamon rolls cool on a rack,
or ribs grill outside, rubbed with rosemary,
the smoke rising to tease the neighbors.

I remember the sweet smell of you when you were a baby.
Well, not always sweet, but I would snuggle close to breathe in
that baby shampoo on your silky hair or
peanut butter or spaghetti sauce smeared on your face.

We actually do smell pheromones, taking in that special scent
of our beloved. Unique, yes, but not just blue eyes or brown.
Scientists do say we’re drawn to those beloveds who possess
very different DNA, perhaps instinctively,
so our babies will be stronger.

Which smells do we remember?
The smell of the woods, leaves crunching under our feet,
lilacs in the late spring, or that tickle
in our nose that says rain is on the way.
Sometimes while hiking, 
we’ll note the stench of death as we pass by,
true nature, unromanticized. I wonder:
Can we know by scent when danger is near?
Maybe that next time you take a deep breath, 
you'll find a survival skill.

Hiking along a creek
near Eagle Crest, Oregon
I puzzled over today’s poetry prompt (Scent), most of the day, but did get some other writing done earlier. You might find these two articles fascinating: Sarah Everts, “The Truth About Pheromones” here or this shorter discussion of that link between the nose and taste at Alimentarium

Tomorrow's prompt: Eyes or What do You See?

You can visit OctPoWriMo at to read what others have written. Thank you, Morgan Dragonwillow.

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