Sprigs

I gathered up a little bit of moneywort,
some bluebells, and the flowers
that might be the same shade as your eyes.
I tied them all together with the stem of a
frost-burnt lily,
couldn’t picture your face,
No matter how hard I tried.
I thought of putting them in water,
I thought of pressing them until they dried,
I thought of leaving them with you to top your deep, cold cradle.
It doesn’t really matter, all the things I thought of doing
all that matters is what I did.
Untied the bundle, went out to the dumpster,
and tossed in every solitary
sprig.

Autumn Frost

The flags of summer have all flown
And now are strewn about my home;
Begonias lay, all drabs and grays,
Suffering in degrading ways.

Some subtle portal called my own
Through which the sunshine stabbed and played
Is rayless, dark, with doom foretold
Of slush and sleet and snow and cold.

The season slips towards decline
With brakes stuttering in the slide;
Screeching shrilly,  joy-dead drunks
Hunker down and enjoy the ride.

Yet there are roots and dreaming trunks
Patiently waiting to revive.

Winter

I cannot survive another winter, here.
In Spring, I plant the hard-shelled seeds
and watch the fingers erupt from the earth;
In Summer, I pluck the flowers, the fruit,
the fragrant things,
the offered vittles,
and in Autumn,
(that most loathsome of seasons),
I watch the vines curl, the leaves
prune and blacken, I
see the fruit molder,
fluffy mildews, crown-rot,
fireblights;
the vibrant greens drain to brown,
to gray,
Drooping at every frost
like sickly children.
I think,
I cannot survive another Winter, here,
and long to see the Spring.

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.