Flowerflesh

In my memory, she has
earlobes like soft snapdragons and
eyes like freshly open crocus,
with all the scents of spring and
begonias twirled in her hair.
Something flicks its tongue in the air
and winds through stems and soil,

If I try to touch the petals
they bruise, fall away, and
reveal frightening things
beneath the flowerbed.

‘try writing something nice for once’

It’s easy to focus on the storm,
and hard to focus on the soil –
Dirt? Just dirt?
flecks and specks, a place to toil
all hard clays and loam,
a place to sweat upon
and feel the rain, and fear
the thunder.

It’s easy to focus on the storm,
and hard to focus on the soil;
harder, still, to imagine the seeds
of promised flowers,
green and brown and white,
glazed with seeping moisture,
and the tiny sprout
surging upwards,
reaching towards the sunlight,
spurred by a passing storm.

Beautiful Plague

The roses are choking the oats in the field,
To dahlias the rain-riven okra must yield;
Begonias have swollen and stunted the wheat,
These soft-scented petals hold nothing of meat.

The peaches have blossomed but set no new fruit,
In westerly furrows impatiens take root;
The hounds in their kennel lay mewling or dead –
On puffy chrysanthemum florets they fed.

The carrots, the turnips, once neat in their row,
Now twisted and withered where snapdragons grow;
The daisies, the tulips, alive and alight
Are scourges more stinging than mildew or blight.