Condolences

09 June 2020, Category: poetry



What good is this scattering over the grass,
this gold and white confetti, these eyes
opening at dawn and closing in the twilight?
These are Freya’s flowers and she is welcome
to them. We have no use for blooms. Callous gods,
you cannot substitute one beauty for another.
What help is protection now? Your garlands
are mere distractions, we have no desire
to chew on the pollen, fill our mouths
with bitter medicine. Left long enough
the petals blister our skin, we become
sun scaled. Spread them no more, perpetual
reminders of our sorrows that raise their
heads above the green then proliferate
over the fields. They will never bring
back those who have sunk below, those now
cradled by the waiting arms of roots.

No, bring us only those yellow weeds,
the ones considered ugly and overlooked.
We will mash up the leaves and boil them
into a tea to calm our racing hearts,
make a balm to smooth our scarred skin
and calm our sadness. We can chop up the
roots to make us more alert. We will leave a
handful to transform into spheres of cloud,
which we will use to tell the time, helped
sometimes by indifferent winds. In this
hungry gap of spring we will feast on
what we find beneath the hedgerows or
reaching through the borders of beds. We reject
your funeral wreathes of daisies, your
meaningless gestures of fragile beauty.
Bring us dandelions so we may live.


This poem was written from a prompt by the wonderful Tonic for their second birthday. Everyone got the same prompt ‘Daisies and Dandelions’

I was also lucky enough to have it played on BBC Radio Bristol on their Upload show. It’s on BBC Sounds until the end of the month, find it here, at 1 hour 48 mins.

I’ve uploaded the original audio to Soundcloud. Listen here