Green Health

If Walt Whitman, arguably America’s best poet, claimed, “a morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books,” what excuse do we have to not surround ourselves with these little wonders? And if master haiku poet Bash? wrote “the temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of flowers,” what’s stopping us from tuning into the same frequency?

It’s spring in New York. And it might be time to go botanical.

Under the domes of the world’s largest domed greenhouses (don’t quote me on that) roam (so to speak) hundreds, nay, thousands of little nuggets of love. Stare into one and you may lay vexed by its mystical splendor. Sniff one up and your olfactory system will send you back to a sensorial first date or days playing in mom’s backyard. You may dream of bees dancing amidst sunbeams. You may check the dictionary for rhododendron. You may find images that will serve as wonderfully popular posts for your profile page. Your friends will comment: “For me? You’re so sweet!” or “Reminds me of your kisses…” They’ll garner busloads of “Likes.” You may even consider pulling a Georgia O’Keeffe—that is, until your friends bring you back to reality and remind you that you can’t paint.

While every borough has one, my favorite botanical garden has to be Brooklyn’s big beauty. There’s certainly a lot to see there, but if you go try to make your way over to the super zenned out Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. What a marvelous place that is. I can’t think of a better place to restore some mental health and sanity than staring for hours into the emptiness and everything of this sacred place. If you’re in luck, you and your reverie will unite under a cherry blossom tree in full bloom. And if that happens, there’s nothing that can stop you from totally and completely changing your world and the lives of everyone on this planet forever and ever. Amen.

alan semerdjian

Alan Semerdjian is a writer, musician, English teacher, and occasional visual artist. Besides LI Pulse, his work has appeared in Newsday, Adbusters, Chain, The Lyric Review and numerous other print and online publications, anthologies, and chapbooks. His first full-length book of poetry is In the Architecture of Bone (Genpop Books 2009). You can visit him digitally at and find out about his music at