Wednesday, 24 May 2017


“You cannot eat apples planted from seeds. They must be grafted, cloned…” - Michael Pollan

I’ve had a break from Poets United for a few weeks as I have had to attend to several pressing work matters and these did not allow my mind to turn to poetry. As things slowly get back to normal, today’s theme of “Flowers” at Poets United inspired this, my offering for the Midweek Motif this week:

Spring Flowers

Looking at Spring flowers in the garden
Blooming recklessly in the cold wind,
Fulfilling with expediency their purpose,
Repaying in full the gardener’s ministrations,
Reminds me of their origin:

Hailing from some humble wild blossom,
Carefully cultivated for years on end;
Torn from the fickle hillside and grown under glass,
Long inbred, carefully tended, crossed –
So that each new generation breeds true.
Once pale and fresh but insignificant,
Now a gaudy, dazzling display of colour,
But lucklessly sterile…

As for their propagation,
They rely on cuttings,
And the gardener’s whimsical affection,
Their seeds but a distant,
Almost forgotten remembrance...

PS: "Double-flowered" describes varieties of flowers with extra petals, often containing flowers within flowers. The double-flowered trait is often noted alongside the scientific name with the abbreviation fl. pl. (flore pleno, a Latin ablative form meaning "with full flower"). The first abnormality to be documented in flowers, double flowers are popular varieties of many commercial flower types, including roses, camellias and carnations. In some double-flowered varieties all of the reproductive organs are converted to petals — as a result, they are sexually sterile and must be propagated through cuttings. Many double-flowered plants have little wildlife value as access to the nectaries is typically blocked by the mutation.


  1. That makes them almost sad... nicely penned!

  2. Amazing, actually, how humans can transform nature for good or for ill.

  3. Oh what price beauty! What price obedience! There is always a cost. But this is a lovely poem.

  4. One never reflects on what goes into developing a flower strain. Thanks for the thought. They are so beautiful. I love the line about fulfilling their purpose. They do that so well. Lovely to read you, Nicholas.

  5. Wow! What an amazing metaphor... It can apply to people as well as flowers methinks (so speaks a childless and cultured female!)

  6. PS: What an amazing photo of a rose!

  7. Lovely poem on the gardener's risk, which many of us never think about

    Happy Wednesday

    much love...

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  9. "Under glass" is the key. Not a good way to go, or "come up." That "hothouse flower" is always delicate! Give me those hardy weeds, easy to grow, "easy-peasy."

  10. I have always wondered why Queen Anne's Lace is considered a weed. It requires no tending, fluorishes in unlikely spots, yet lifts its delicate lace to the sun year after year. My mother carefully saved the seeds from her flowers (for which she saved the seeds from her mother). She didn't trust "new" seeds, and said they just weren't the same.

  11. Nice that you're back. Thank you for your lovely poem and for the information. I never knew this about flowers. Not sure how I feel about so much manipulation of nature.

  12. 'Hailing from some humble wild blossom, carefully cultivated for years on end...' thats such a beautiful image!

  13. Humanity are quite good at creating monsters for their own profit...and eventual loss.

  14. I love the idea of them 'blooming recklessly'.

  15. They look beautiful those yellow roses. The bees would not like them. They look beautiful but they do not function as they are supposed to. Bees are clever.