Nicholmas Daisies

focus photography of purple daisy flowers
Photo by Beata Kamińska on


Nicholmas Daisies

They seem to be lasting for longer each year,
So long past September and into December –
For even in frost and in sleet, they appear –
Still shining in bloom on the thermal frontier.

And I have seen violets outlast their season,
And snowdrops and hellebores turning up early doors.
I wonder if climate change offers a reason ?,
For something is urging these flowers and trees on.

The branches are bare, but the apples still mellow –
We’ve bred them so hardy, it just makes them tardy.
Surprises of colour make strange bedding-fellows,
With the roses still red as the crocus bursts yellow.



Last in Flower

rose in snow


Last in Flower

Time to start the annual eyeing
Of the final blooms in bloom,
Before the Winter dying.
Which will be the final womb ?

Ivy, maybe, maybe daisy,
Roses far too slow and lazy
To be done and gone by now.
Asters equally as surly,
Gorse that’s late and jasmine early,
Petals braving frost somehow.

I guess they’re mainly cultivars,
These freaks who just won’t quit,
These suicidal stars –
All for our benefit.

But perhaps there’s evolution here,
With all the competition clear –
The last shall be the first.
Goldenrod and wintersweet
Are hanging on so long, they meet
The snowdrops when they burst.



Unnatural Selection

pumpkin patch


Unnatural Selection

Pumpkin, oh plumpling, oh hideous mutant !
The hothouse of Hades is where you were born !
Nobody thinks of your yellow-starred flowers,
They only remember your potbellied spawn.

An fragile annual, a delicate diva,
Confined to the plots of the greenhouse and garden.
You won’t survive long in the wastelands and margins,
Where squirrels will eat you before you can harden.

Sclerosified skin in an orange-palled jaundice,
With five-fingered leaves and with deep, sucking roots,
And a hunger voracious to fatten grotesquely
Your thickly-pus’d tumours, your Frankenstein fruits.

So pump up the pumpkins, fatter and fatter,
You’re nothing but water and tasteless matter –
Your heads then trepanned to scoop out your cortex,
Yet still you invade into legends and doorsteps.

Yet many won’t make it – mistakes of blind nature,
All twisted or stunted, or rotting while still on the vine.
And if they’re not ripe by the first frost, they’re lost.
Oh Lord, what have we created ?  Oh monstrous design !



The Parable of the Mustard Seed



The Parable of the Mustard Seed

“The Kingdom of God is a mustard seed,
The leastest of all of the seeds of the earth,
From out which the greatest of herbs shall be freed,
With branches so stout for the birds to find berth.”

“But Master, are then not the seeds of the duckweed,
Or even the orchid, or poppy, or rue,
Yet ever more tiny, yet too they succeed ?
From dust on the breeze, so the wilderness grew.
Whyfore is mustard so sacred ?
If smallness is wanted, when all’s said and done,
Then surely the Kingdom of God should be second to none ?”

“Then look at the size of the mustard and poppy:
The former grows five times the height of the latter.
Within such a speck lies so giant a crop, see,
And we should remember that, next time we scatter.”

“But Master, if increase in size is so vital,
Then why not the mulberry, grapevine or cane ?
There surely are worthier plants for the title,
For look at the growth of the poplar and plane !
Whyfore is mustard so sacred  ?
The not-tallest herb from the not-smallest seed.
And surely the Kingdom of God is a tree, not a weed ?”

“But those other plants are not found in the garden;
Their seeds are but sown by the wind, not the hand.
And mustard grows tall and its branches will harden,
So even the nests of the birds can it stand.”

“But Master, the mustard grows tall in late summer,
And then, as an annual, each winter it dies.
When nesters are building, this plant’s still a comer,
And so till the fledglings have long filled the skies.
Whyfore is mustard so sacred ?
For any birds perching must cause it to shake.
But surely the Kingdom won’t tremble and quake ?
Why then make mustard so sacred ?
Here till the autumn, but dead in its wake.
But surely the Kingdom of God should not wither and break ?”







Is your backyard unkempt and scarred ?
Then call us to the scene !
Is your bare patch not up to scratch ?
We’ll turn your brown dirt green.
We’ve got the roots and seeds and shoots
And foliage to go.
We’ve got the blooms and shrubs and ’shrooms
To make your garden grow.
No need to dig to get ’em big,
No need to rake or delve.
With zero care, they’re ev’rywhere:
These plants just grow themselves !
We’ve dodder vines and thistle spines
And stickybuds galore;
To justify the docks nearby,
We’ve nettles by the score !
What’s cuddlier than buddleia,
And dandelion heads,
Or hairy sheathes of borage leaves
To feather-nest your beds ?
Our ivy cloaks, our bindweed chokes,
Our narcissus is black.
Forget-me-nots won’t be forgot,
They’ll keep on coming back.
So if your lawn is neat and shorn,
Too manicured and styled,
Then call the chums with seasick thumbs –
We’ll get it running wild !
If all that toil in clay-packed soil
Has left you lacking zest,
Then let us sow our vibrant show
Of nature at her best !



Unter den Linden

unter den linden


Unter den Linden

I was walking
Underneath the lindens,
Walking with my true love,
With Summer on the breeze.
We were walking
Walking in Berlin, then,
Walking two-by-two, love,
Underneath the trees.

I was walking
Underneath the lindens,
Walking with my true love,
Past the other fraus.
We were walking
In our finest linens
Walking two-by-two, love,
Underneath the boughs.

I was talking
Underneath the lindens,
Talking with my true love
About my life and times.
We were talking
Of how back in Swindon,
When walking two-by-two, love,
We’d be walking under limes.



The Hand Not Bitten

venus flytrap
Venus Fly Trap by Scott Bennett


The Hand Not Bitten

Is any insect brave enough
To pollinate the venus-flower,
Tempted never by the lure
Of nectar, rich upon the leaves ?
Is any insect sure enough
To find that small-white-petalled tower
Standing tall above those mauls
That punish tardy, wayward thieves ?
Is any insect smart enough
To find the pollen in the bower,
And to fly away again
And not be caged within those sheathes ?