Darling Buds- Flag Iris

This is a poem about irises

I promise

The first bird bath was tipped over by a large blue jay

Drunk on mountain ash berries

The juncos screamed for days

Until we put in large rocks

To make it stable

So that they could clean their armpits

Birdbath version two started leaching its paint coating

Into the water

From the vigorous intellectual

Bottom rubbing of the imported sparrows

Also, there were cats

In the fenced garden

In the quiet reflective space

Bird bath three

Plasticized granite

With actual granite for stability

Bloomed amongst the irises

Beautiful, austere

And ignored

In favour of a plastic

Wading pool

IMG_1352Flag Iris- Wisdom, To learn from what has come

The greatest gifts and ideas can be defeated by small plastic wading pools. Every May, I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more hard won wisdom, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

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The Darling Buds- Wild Rose

We were too cold for roses

Or, at least, the delicate roses

Made poor friends with the early frost

But there were always the wild roses

In strange patches and places

They told us the roses grew where bodies were buried

(The more boring explanation was that was where

The warring neighbours dumped their compost

When they were in a fight over where the property lines

Ended)

And, certainly, they bloomed in that eerie

No man’s land – too windy for trees,

Too exposed for shrubs

A heavenly smell that lured small creatures

And small children

All of us fumbling through the thorns

To reach the buds

As we left

I always shuddered a little at the red in the light

In the veins of the petals

Rubbed the cuts on my arms and legs

They may not have started with bodies

But it is hard to touch a rose bush

Once it has gotten a taste

For blood

IMG_1331Wild Rose: Pleasure and Pain

Beauty comes in dangerous packages. Every May, I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more obvious and less obvious thorns, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

The Darling Buds: Chinese Begonia

Our neighbours were less concerned with fences than

Whether or not the trees would blow into their yard

And we largely lived in mutual non-acknowledgement

Unless their cats got into our garden or

Our cats ate their (very expensive) cat food

I used to think they liked us well enough-

We were never loud and neither of our houses

Called for a pox on the other

But, just before they moved and left forever,

They gifted us some Chinese begonia

That proceeded to devour most of the garden

And would have taken over the yard

But for some creative use of plastics and wood chips

I don’t know what moral to take from those startling, aggressive flowers

Maybe beware of neighbours

Bearing ugly plants?

IMG_0770Chinese Begonias- Beware

Every May, I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more oblique warnings, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

The Darling Buds- Tulip (Variegated)

Beauty is in:

The smell of rich loam and last fall’s leaves,

Uncovered and building the next leaves,

The next dying flowers.

Beauty is in:

The ragged leaves breaking the frost and debris,

Preparing for the dizzy blossoms to come.

Beauty is in:

The eye of

The storm,

The lost needle, trapped under the wood pile,

The beholder,

Staring down at the glad blossoms,

Joyfully raising their faces to the world.

IMG_0733Variegated Tulip – Beautiful Eyes

Every May, I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more visions of beauty, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.