The same year that she finished "Flowering Judas," she wrote the poem "Night-Blooming Cereus
," in which "Upborne by savage dark thorns the paper-lace dramatic flower/Spins in the winds, a dancing somnambulist." How much more difficult the image becomes here, how much more tortured the poetic devices ("flower" is later prosaically rhymed with "hour," "somnambulist" hyperbolically with the "great fist/of blackness ...").
The reason for this regional boom of sightings, the article revealed, was the night-blooming cereus
cactus, which mutated an extra proton in its molecular structure to create a radical stable "element 115," the rumored fuel of alien spaceships.
Hayden was never prolific and his Collected Poems is not a long book--in addition to A Ballad of Remembrance, it consists of Words in the Mourning Time, The Night-Blooming Cereus
, Angle of Ascent and American Journal.
The uncanny ability of the two creators to project a dramatic atmosphere manifests itself in their first operatic venture, Night-blooming Cereus
, originally written for CBC Radio in 1959 and transferred to the stage a year later.