To Each His Own
The gardener looked at the flower
Thinking how pretty it would look next to her roses
The mathematician looked at the flower
Noticing its unique symmetry
The Christian looked at the flower
Observing God in it
The environmentalist looked at the flower
Concerned for its future
The teacher looked at the flower
And devised a lesson for her class
The businessman looked at the flower
Calculating how much money he could sell it for
The criminal looked at the flower
Plotting to steal it
The archaeologist looked at the flower
Longing to dig it up to see what was in the earth beneath
The artist looked at the flower
While painting a beautiful picture of it
The lover looked at the flower
Wanting to pick it for his mistress
The poet looked at the flower
And wrote this
-Photo by Sue Harpham
Formed an army.
A bonanza troop
Patrolling the field.
The only noise
Was the wind.
Like ripples of ghosts
Soothing the land
With their chants
Cooperation is the buzzword;
Opulent symphonies with
Nature the sentient conductor.
Poppy, ranunculus and kingcup
rising and falling in gentle cadence
with cornflower, salvia and forget-me-not;
a fragrant patchwork in the sweet grass,
like an eco rainbow, tipping the earth,
radiant with inner beauty.
A ballet of delicate blooms
dressed in powder-puff tutus,
dancing to the tune of sun, wind and rain.
Wildflower meadows echo the vibe
of cottage gardens in a bygone age….
Green spaces flourishing
with aphids, beetles, butterflies,
moths and caterpillars,
bumble bee numbers multiplied tenfold –
that gentle, hypnotic hum reassuring
as they delve in the throats of foxgloves.
The project enhances both water and soil,
a winning outcome for biota.
This wild beauty brings closer
the goal of a greener future.
Just stop and look!
Paradise stretches out
before your eyes,
a triumph of rewilding.
-Margaret Royall (from her forthcoming collection Practising Floriography)
After the Long Dry Spell, New Dress
Last summer I rediscovered wild flowers.
Alfalfa, butter ‘n eggs, milkweed, clovers of
all sizes and sweetness, many spontaneous
bouquets dropped petals on my table.
All those years of drought and concrete.
This year I am the bud. I remember my love
of swirly skirts, the kind when you twirl
flows out from your waist. Old-fashioned,
Fairy clothing. I always used to garden
in embroidered cotton dresses, comfortable
through heat waves and washable.
Long ago my husband would gift
me flowers, more fragrances, the better.
He would slide his hands up my calf’s silk,
tease dress hems, my thighs when I was lying
in our hammock beneath blue spruce, sipping champagne,
There was always celebration; bouquets, mysteries,
wonders-revealed; a slender stem, a woman’s
leg, the sculpting fingers of a man defining it,
firefly-lit dusk. White skirts glow in the dark,
opening like petals of some nocturnal
-Rachael Z. Ikins
Waiting for Bees
Crocus fingers snow-tatters.
Sun coaxes purple, orange.
Cups brim, succulent saffron
offered to the sky.
Winter’s breath reminisces
Flowers pack their cups,
Day after night after
day they set their table, cloth ragged, main course
They wait for bees
who never come.
Wilt, heartbreak-fists’ curl
swallowed by Earth’s dry
Ode to a Cactus Flower: Calling Me
Petals call my fingers,
mouth, stroke against
Cool silk alien.
Silence roars magenta
ecstasy, each dancer
swirls a wider skirt,
hides my face, those
Palm-stuck skin, my fingernail worries one spine, painful pleasure.
Trickling droplet, my blood’s
your velvet throat.
Such loveliness is a summer meadow
What need for rubies, emeralds or gold?
Overflowing with red clover and vetch,
A greenness of grass,
Sprinklings of buttercups and trefoil
This is the meadow.
Glitter of early dew
A thousand diamonds
All jewels are here
The amethyst of orchids,
Dock flower corals
A rose quartz of ragged robin
And six butterflies blue as sapphire
Such loveliness is the summer meadow
I want to write about
Washing on the line, all blue
The colour of mallows, pale pink
The smell of salt in the air
The summer verges
Throwing up poppies, long grass
And an old fat tyre
Walking through wet grass
Blinded by the buttercups
A long stormy night
six spires of foxgloves
edging the summer meadow
dancing, close to grass
in the embroidery of the meadow
the tiny flights of damselflies
They call you a weed,
in unwelcome places
Between concrete blocks,
In overgrown fields,
A riot of colour.
You may not be cultivated,
But you are a wonderful
Wildflowers of The Dry Well
Dawn scatters its dandelion self amidst the clouds. Not your song, you say nay to the music stuck in your head. Not your song because this one your mother used for sending her babies to sleep. Her night cooled around the dry well agape. Still people hear wildflower voices from the well. You want to go back to sleep and live, but light strikes you awake and deceased.
One celandine opens her throat
eight-petals to a sunbathed sky
then another and another butter yellow
butterfly yellow a glistening dawn
a lawn so full no foot no mouse or bee
can pass between their heart-shaped leaves
leaves some tear out but here they stay
so I can swallow in the yellow day
drop by drop them on my tongue
sing their tiny yellow song.
Foolishness and madness
i did not surrender
Reality finally dawns
ruling with a daisy crown
and a hyacinth sceptre
The complexities of the wildflower
I have no name for
occupies this Sunday.
One bird perchance, may be an insect,
has conspired this floret
to efflorescence on my monsoon staircase.
The petals stare at my chance door,
church door for the orphan.
Breeze bells a mellow music.
Sometimes a person yeilds to cruelty
because he desires to be kind
and cannot bear his angel incarnation.
Some Sunday I feel lazy, call my mom,
and as usual her number
reallocated to a new user blasphemes.
This Sunday I wants to weed.
Destroy something I have nothing against,
except the lifespan of a wildflower weighs less
than the impression it leaves on my conscience.
a ball disperses from her tiny fist
and sweet pea perfume
Editors Hidenori Hiruta, Ben Grafström and Team.
dandelions scatter here and there.
Published in Spring Saijiki 2019
finger painting red poppy fields
トスカーナの日の出指で描く赤い芥子 (tr. 千秋)
across the grasslands the timbre of sitar
シタールの音色横切るポピー畑 (tr. 千秋)
「シタールの音（ね）草原をこえ芥子畑（sitar no ne sougen wo koe keshi-batake) 」（Christina Chin, tr. N.U.Hanseki)
through red hills
the random trills
red poppy fields
the fragrance of
in my hand the glint
of morning dew
a scent of bluebells
in the baby’s clutch
and sweet pea perfume
Editors Hidenori Hiruta, Ben Grafström and Team.
rolling pasture —
milk thistles in the mouth
of a calf
Fresh Out: An Arts and Poetry Collective.
Editors Eric Lohman and Alvah Allen.
Green rosettes, crinkly, tongue-like
leaves lick the ground.
Tube-like, egg-yolk yellow flowers
cluster at ends of tall, green stems.
“Tisty tosty, tell me true,
who shall I be married to?”
Throw the balls foe an answer.
There is pansies, that’s for thoughts
And I’ll only smile as I think of you.
Some call her
Tickle my fancy
Three faces in a hood
But to me she’ll always be
The hermaphrodite’s draught
Dripped on my droopy eyelids
And I’d left the antidote
In the honey pot.
I dreamt of pollination by bees.
I could but love you, my child.
The imperial votaress
Averted her gaze
And walked on
Whilst I sat up to rip
Of rue flowers from my hair.
Driven to distraction
the daisy Queen
dressed in scattered silver
and silk stockings
her dandelion king
to be with him
..bees and honey..
lean on the old fence,
watch the bees bumbling.
there are wild flowers here
she cuts those mid afternoon, makes
a tidy pile to clear later.
it is the thirteenth, we are quite lucky.
the bite comes up big and red, swollen.
remarks are made, feeling odd. sleep early.
bees and honey; other insects.
have been out looking
amongst the knapweed
amongst the flowers
cut those brambles that may stick
to your prickles
we left it longer
the tidying this year
so as not to be a slave to it
and rewards are endless
good it has become a fashion with the climate
it always did make sense to me
others thought not in the past
we have a a past, it keeps reminding me
..the garden in montgomery…
i like the look of wild growth
i like the old garden in montgomery
although my passenger declared it a mess
i worked with a girl this year who studies
wild things, sustainability
a difficult spelling
she says this wild way is best
culture has nutured tidy in the
though i notice a surge in love
for wild flowers
to resist the mowings along the roads
yesterday i left the tall grass and watched
the butterflies there
my daughter gave them names
while indoors again find
no observers book of moths
now back on line
did the bird survive?
we must try to save the trees
we must try to save it all
have a pleasant day
Trills On One Shamrock
Rain curses the diet Coke can
you left on your porch, tilts it, and
a puny frog reveals its dark green,
so dark that you mistake it for black
the way you see monsoon firmament,
and it is never black. You do not know
the names of those shades. Sun goes
into the palliative care. A Parkinson’s ray
trills on one shamrock. The noise
tastes like early morning robusta.
You do not know what these mean.
-All art and poetry by Linda Ludwig
Many other wilds in their own
Boxes, living their own lives.
Around this another
Much larger box,
With all wilds together.
They work to lift the lid.
-Lydia P. Wist
The field awash with golden yellow
Wild buttercups take back their space
Amethyst thistles trim the picture
The poppies wild, bend to the light
All with hearts shimmering
Towards the benevolent sun
Glistening on raindrops that look like diamonds
A true garden of jewels
Never a single flower
I always gather thirteen
or more in a bunch,
On May Day, I hang
small primrose bouquets
over my windows and doors
Allow only white magic in.
Braid it into my horses’ manes,
plait iballs to hang
from the necks
of my cows and sheep.
I know you, Hedgewitch
inhale your primrose oinment .
You rub its oil on my eyelids,
so I can see you better.
We drink Primrose wine
I gift you primroses,
Never trust what you say
or do. Perfume is fickle.
Bios and Links
Fiona H lives in Ireland and is rather shy so would prefer to let the writing do the talking. She is a former Humanities student, now she studies humanity through creative writing.