The Horticultrix

Sprintime by Pierre-Auguste Cot

The Horticultrix

She worked for the council, she mending their greens,
And their roundabout gardens and motorway screens.
She weeded their paths and she tended their sprays,
And swept up their cherries’ displays.

Her hedges were sprinkled in sloe-blossom white
As I asked if her lanes were a primrose delight.
She plucked me a buttercup, proffered with thanks –
As dog-violets guarded her banks.

We kissed to the hum of the first of the bees,
As the belfries of bluebells all chimed in the breeze –
And daffodils trumpeted Springtime unfurled,
As fiddleheads flexed and uncurled.

The teeth of the lions were under our thighs,
And they ev’rywhere shone from forget-me-not skies.
We trampled their verges, enrapt and entwined –
The daisies, though, seemed not to mind.

She showed me the places the tulips grew wild,
Aloud and ablaze, then eleven months mild.
Their flowering passion so vital, so brief –
And ashwoods were not yet in leaf.

The lords and their ladies unwrapped their white cloaks,
And the crockets were sprouting on beeches and oaks.
Our lessons botanic were daily resumed –
At least, till the mayflower bloomed.

Chance Encounter

Her Day Out by Tony Pro

Chance Encounter

Has it been so long ?
Has it really been so many years
Since last we greeted one another ?
Since we said goodbye in tears
After it had all gone wrong…?
Yeah, I guess it has been after all.
Are we about to rediscover
Why we never tried to call ?

I can’t believe it either…
I guess they don’t make years like they used to,
Back when we were foolish-young –
Of course, I never thought I’d lose you…
Never thought I’d win you, neither,
Yet, back then, I guess I did,
Until experience had stung,
Reminding me I’m just a kid.

We had some fun, though, didn’t we…?
It’s coming back – the better times,
The silly, noisy better times,
When life was there for living.
We had a good run, you and me,
Before the arguments and guilt,
Before the milk was spilt,
Before each second-guessed misgiving.

Has it been so long ?
Has it been a lifetime since we spoke ?
It all seemed so important,
And so ruined once it broke.
I guess we came out strong,
We both have landed on all-fours.
It’s good to see you, even sporting still
That wayward smile of yours.

Sprung

Rue by Rodney Davis

Sprung

Now that Winter’s easing,
And the Sun is breaking cover,
Then what could be more pleasing
Than to wake from hibernating with my lover ?
And as the sap is rushing
And the Spring is turning bold,
Then what could be more crushing
Than to hear she wants to clean-out with the old ?
We’d clung to one-another,
While the Winter held us in its thrall,
I thought she was my lover,
But I guess that April makes fools of us all.

Now with the lambs in clover
And the daylight on the rise,
So she wants to be a rover
And she wants to try the Springtime on for size.
She slips out after equinox
With all the world at play,
By the changing of the clocks,
Then I know the cruellest month’s not far away.
With the first song of the skylark
And the golden tulips growing tall,
She’s off to find another mark –
I guess that April makes fools of us all.

Footloose

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Footloose

Where do all my socks go
When a fresh set can’t be sourced ?
My pairs may start out married,
But they always end divorced –
Woollen-millers, stocking-fillers,
Full-of-holes or reinforced,
Longs and shorts and blacks and creams –
Like-and-like repel, it seems.
Many lonely-socks are sulking
Limp and curled up on their tod –
Unloved, unworn, dresser-skulking,
Each one well-and-truly odd.

Where do all my socks go ?
Onto other people’s feet ?
Too long in drawers they’ve tarried
Now they’re keen to up-and-meet –
They’re soc-hopping, garter-dropping, –
Long-legged jeans keep them discreet.
Sock it to ’em, just for kicks,
Silk, bamboo and cotton-mix.
Whenever mismatched-socks are strutting,
Are they going on a date ?
When they’re balled up, are they rutting,
Knitting booties with their mate ?

Disposable Fiancé

Photo by Sami Anas on Pexels.com

Disposable Fiancé

Miss Haversham or Jilted John,
With no clue what’s been going on –
That’s me.
When the hero comes bursting into the church
To win back his one true love,
Then I’m the one who’s stood at the altar.
I’m the one who’s always left in the lurch,
Who only exists to get the shove,
Because my name is Chester or Walter.

(Hiring the organist, ballroom, and tails –
The invites and rings and the horse-drawn chaise,
Flying my folks in from New South Wales,
For untaken photos and uneaten canapés.)

Forever Paris or Rosalind,
Traded-in for the chisel-chinned –
That’s me.
I’m the one who isn’t famous or pouty,
I’m the wimp who’s got no soul,
The banker or techie or wonk who’s bland and nice.
You’ll all have quite forgotten about me
By the time the credits roll
I’m just another shallow plot device.

(I won’t be getting out of here for hours –
Shaking their hands, and arranging their lifts,
And someone still has to clear out the flowers,
And cancel the band, and return all the gifts.)

Love Birds

Love Birds

February, when the end of Winter
Greets the start of the start of Spring –
And what better time for the ravens to be mating,
For these early birds to be doing their thing ?
Valentine ravens, tender and dear –
They’re mating-for-life for year after year.

Coming out of the edges of the wilderness,
From the Northern moors to the middle-class downs –
Now nobody persecutes their loving anymore,
So they do it in the open and they do it in the towns.
Valentine ravens, cawing their love –
A far better symbol than a bear-cub or a dove.

Snow Angels

Shepherd Wedding by Jennie Hill

Snow Angels

Strange, how this day of love
Is a day of sneezes and fingers numb.
Why does it fall with a deathly chill
As the hothouse roses succumb ?
Maybe it serves to underscore
How love is often bittersweet –
Whereas, in the height of Summer,
This day would be lost in the endless heat.

Strange, how this day of red
Is a day of snowdrops and Winter mould.
Why does it fall when the days are short
And the nights are bitterly cold ?
Maybe it serves to warm the frost,
And give our torpid hearts a shove –
Whereas, in the height of Summer,
Who needs a reminder to fall in love ?

Plastic Roses

Plastic Roses

February rolls around,
And on comes the propaganda –
Singletons are not allowed,
We put a downer on the crowd.
So February rolls around
And ev’rybody has to pander.
Haven’t we all heard the songs ?
Haven’t we all seen the movies ?
Still we seem to get it wrong,
And still we just won’t play along,
And still we’re far too choosy.

“You there !  You on your own !
Out after curfew !  Come here, sonny !
Where are your papers ?  Where are your cards ?
And your chocolates ?  Oh, so you think this is funny…?
I think you’d better tell me which restaurant you’re booked in,
And the name of the one you’re meeting, too…
You know it’s only lovers who may walk the streets tonight,
All spinsters, slobs and nerds must hide from view.”

Ah, ignore me –
What am I even getting angry for ?
So the world is in love…
Would I rather the world were at war ?
Go – shout it out, have your fun,
And I’ll get on with mine –
Just please, never pity me, never that –
And we’ll get along just fine.

Kiss-Kiss Boom-Boom

Kiss-Kiss Boom-Boom

Loving and laughing are nothing but tricks –
Just social conventions we do for the kicks.
We desp’rately want to be one of the crowd,
And if we suspect, then we do them too loud.
We’re unsure and frightened, we’re playing our parts –
We want to believe, but we know in our hearts…
But sod it, who cares if it’s all in the head ?,
We’re gullible fools who are easily led.
If love is elusive, it don’t mean it’s broke –
For even the cynical like a good joke.

Twenty-Twenty Hindsight

Twenty-Twenty Hindsight

Twenty-Twenty – what a blast,
The year when the planets kissed !
We were so young and life so vast,
With not a moment missed.
We met by chance, we met online,
When hiding from the flu –
That year I tippled too much wine
And fell in love with you.

Twenty-Twenty – let it sing,
The year we sang our tryst !
The swallows came upon the Spring,
And you had taught me whist.
From kitchen top or garden bench,
Our screens would share the view,
That year I learned to speak in French
And fell in love with you.

I know, I know, we were the lucky ones,
Laughing along with the doomsayers’ chimes –
We weren’t the heroes, we were the stuck-at-homes,
Making the best of the worst of times.
But when I look back on that strange, strange trip,
I’m glad that we saw it through –
If I ever must face the Apocalypse,
Then the end is much better with you.

Twenty-Twenty – whole world shook
In the year when we mustn’t move –
I tried and failed to write a book,
And saw my cakes improve.
I spent all day upon the phone,
And watched how the garden grew –
In the year of my neighbour’s loud trombone,
And falling in love with you.

I know, I know, we were the silly ones,
Giggling our way through the horror of it all.
I know that we felt it, just like the millions,
But those aren’t the memories we choose to recall.
I’m glad that we lived with that strange, strange fate,
When the world was surreal and new –
If I ever must wait such a lonely wait,
Then the lonely’s much better with you.