Elissar of Red and Purple
One Tyrian morning, a Canaan canine
with scarlet red lips came running to
Phoenician Queen of Tyre Elissar
whose dress was caught in sea thistle.
Having seen red only in nature never
on cloth or lips, dazzled the queen.
She ordered her chambermaids to find
whatever that dog was eating on that shore.
The maids quickly found the scarlet cored
Murex shell that matched the Canine’s mouth.
Elissar ordered the shell taken to Sidon’s alchemist
Athir son of Mayas high priest of Baal.
Athir was very talented and mixed the shells
extracted dyes with Neeline flowers to get
different shades of purples and reds and
soon Elissar was the only queen who wore
purple and red silk gowns in the entire area.
Twice were Elissar’s favorite colored silks
given by Phoenician kingdoms as peace
offerings: once upon the celebration of signing
Qadesh’s first treaty in the world with the marriage
of Ramses the second to Nefertiti who wore the colors
in silk gowns and in the wedding of Themastokolis
hero of the battle of Salamis who kicked
Xerosis of Persia from the Aegean sea.
Why do we love purple flowers?
Because purple is the color of Kings and victors
and flowers are given to us by lovers
Because we find serenity in lavender,
freedom in wind blown clematis and alliums,
mystery in bellflowers, defiance in monkhoods,
divinity in the lilies of the Nile, chances in hyacinth,
eye candy in candy tufts and iris, hope with cyclamen,
diversity with Columbine and adventure with Gladiolus
draping over bittersweet nightshades and butterfly bushes!