Scorpion Grass



Scorpion Grass

You gave me plugs for planting
In the ground beneath my plum –
A lover’s gift for growing,
And for shooing Winter glum.
Such blue and tiny flowers
In a little straggly scrum –
Just bed them in and off they go,
With any-colour thumb.
Yet year-on-year, these self-seed parts
Make up a spreading sum –
These almost-weeds, not worth the dig,
Are no chrysanthemum !
You gave me some forget-me-nots –
And later called me scum.
I’ve tried so hard to wipe the slate –
Yet ev’ry Spring, they come.


This poem was inspired by one by Dino Mahoney – I basically took his idea and added rhymes.





pink cherry blossoms selective focus photo
Photo by LilacDragonfly on



Some of them are white, of course,
Though all are pink round here.
They’re not the most impressive trees
Till all the blooms appear.
They blow their show in April,
All before their leaves take root –
Yet all of this confetti
Makes such neat and waxy fruit.




shallow photography of dried leaves
Photo by Alan Cabello on



The plant you gave so lovingly
Is dying on my windowsill.
I swear it’s not a metaphor,
It’s just a drooping hellebore.
I tend the plant so lovingly,
And steadily it goes downhill.
I swear its thrips and fungal pus
Are meaningless in terms of us.
This poor maltreated gift you chose,
This sacrificial Lenten rose,
Is no barometer of woes
That gnarls and twists and guilts.
It’s just a plant in dying throes
That cannot blame or presuppose.
The only thing this flower shows
Is soil that’s poor in silts.
I swear our love still blooms and grows,
As surely as this other wilts.
Whatever the bards or historians say,
It’s not the pot-plant of Dorian Gray.



Moveable Feast

Hatiora gaertneri by Peter Coxhead


Moveable Feast

My poor, befuddled Easter cactus:
Sometimes early, sometimes late,
But never can it bloom in practice
On the actual Easter date.
We set a day for April Fools,
We set a day to change our clocks
But Easter follows loony rules:
The first full moon from Equinox.

Early April’s worth a shout,
I reckon, for a stable day:
It’s warm enough for going out,
And far enough from busy May.
But all this shifty, ancient mess
With sense as empty as the tomb,
Is why my cactus cannot guess
The week in which to bloom.



Bashful Bulbs

white petaled flower
Photo by Pixabay on


Bashful Bulbs

Snowdrops, pale and shy and still,
As if they’re afraid to face the bracing breeze.
Downcast propellers, silent in the chill,
So loathe to disturb the hush beneath the trees.
Always huddled together in their crowds
With the neck of a swan and the wimple of a nun;
Tensed to bare the worst from the clouds,
And wilting away in the first warmth of the sun.



The Second Week of January


A Sad Ending by Rasputina2


The Second Week of January

Christmas is done with,
The New Year is come,
The feasting is over,
The outlook is glum,
Our work is resumed
And the weather is cold,
So uproot the glitter
And out with the old.

They’re sprouting on pavements
And swarming on greens,
They loiter on verges
Like unruly teens,
They cluster round dustbins
And litter our lanes:
Straggly and soggy,
These sorry remains.

They served us so proudly
A fortnight ago,
They warmed up the winter
And gave us a glow.
But now they are cast out
With scant a goodbye –
Destitute, homeless,
And waiting to die

The council is working
To round up the strays
And shred them to chippings
For Agas to blaze,
Or sit beneath see-saws,
Or borders to don.
By Twelve Night they’re coming,
By Burns Night, they’re gone.

The Green Tree Anthem



The Green Tree Anthem

The People’s Trees are greenest green –
They’re marching forth since Halloween.
On chilly days and snowy nights,
They proudly bear their fairy lights.

So raise your verdant branches high,
And hoist your red star to the sky –
Though humbugs scoff and scrooges sneer,
We’ll keep the green tree growing here.

When Christmas time is ruinous,
With profiteers pursuing us,
Their simple charm bring us delight,
And help us through the silent night.

So raise our battered spirits high,
And help us keep our powder dry.
Let bankers curse and workers cheer –
We’ll keep the green tree glowing here.

Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum,
For needlekind we’re pining.
Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum,
We’ll keep the green tree shining.