Purple in May
Throat-wort over here and five-tongue over there,
Clinging to the brickwork,
When other weeds won’t dare.
Any scrap of dirt will do,
Waiting till the bulbs are through –
And suddenly, they’re ev’rywhere,
Ready with their reddy-blue.
Butterflies this side, bumblebees the other,
Ferrying the love-notes,
Each bloom to its lover.
And then the scatter-seeds will blow,
And where they land, so there they grow,
As next Spring will uncover,
By sprouting mauve and indigo.
Throat-wort is an old name for campanula (aka bellflower, but I always think of bellflowers as larger and grander). Five-tongue is a literal translation of Pentaglottis, the genus name of green alaknet. The truth is, I needed two-syllable names for both of them.