the autumn hawkbit

because I was photographing trees
you gave me a wild flower 

because we shared that graveyard moment
you brought me this
yellow as the ripened summer
weedy as dandelions
folklore food for hawk eyes 

because of how the flower sucked up the sun
it showed  the grim detachment of your proffered hand
kindling conversation by a tombstone den
amongst the oldest of London's Christians

because I am well-seasoned now
jaundiced thoughts were squashed like lice
against the backdrop of the old brick workhouse
and still the poor and derelict are with us 

because such moments are rare
and even common flowers fade
I captured your gesture forever

A true tale in simple verse written for the Midweek Motif: “A flower was offered to me….”
and I guess a flower suitable for the imaginary garden

35 thoughts on “the autumn hawkbit

  1. Yes to be gifted with flowers is indeed rare – so much imagery and depth in this poem..i could almost visualise the graveyard moment..the poet walking today..feeling the stories and people who came before..i think many people are still stuck in workhouses – our heads..our houses..our takes an open mind to spot that one shining leaf…as perfectly demonstrated here

    1. you have picked up the poetic ambience too – Shelley courted Mary Godwin here as she visited her mother’s grave (Wollstonecraft’s body moved later to St. Peter’s Churchyard, Bournemouth, England in 1851)

  2. A beautiful poem. Is it possible to start it with the prompt words, without spoiling what you have?

    1. good question – not right at the start but possible in first stanza as the second line

        1. “Because I was photographing trees
          A flower was offered to me”

          what do you/others think?

            1. almost agree Mary but I like the more personal touch from the outset

    1. so true – the sunny yellow and the surprise gesture rose above the context

  3. This is a beautifully devised poem. I love the way you have linked ideas together with the recurring lines and have woven the past into the descriptions.

    1. many thanks Kerry – the recurring lines came to me from the outset and gave anchor to this floral reminiscence

  4. luv the colour of yellow, that christian symbolic hope ray, and the yearning/nostalgia of the graveside moment

    have a blessed Wednesday

    much love…

    1. no wonder you spotted the Christian thread – thank you Gillena

  5. I love the introductory lines……….so evocative. I love “yellow as the ripened summer / weedy as dandelions / folklore food for hawk eyes” Very lovely writing, Laura.

  6. This is stunningly beautiful. I too love wandering around London particularly the east end where there is a plethora of Wren’s churches squeezed in tight by the modern city.

    1. oh yes indeed – often am in the city amongst the guild halls and wren churches but rarely further east than Shoreditch. Old St Pancras is a frequent haunt and hence the encounter

  7. How true that instant of hand offering flower–what the had reveals about the flower, what the flower reveals about the hand–the kindness despite-within-redeeming history. Wow.

    1. the poet had a momentary pause as to motive etc and still stunned by the simple act of giving

  8. Beautiful writing. I love your weave of the bright sunny flower with the tomb and the offering. It is a simple yet profound tale.

    1. a juxtapose of life’s poetry in fact – thank you Myrna

    1. thank you Cayn – that one just flowed without much effort

    1. that simile set the time and mood – appreciate you visit Margaret

  9. a beautiful and richly textured poem with wonderful imagery…a sunny flower in tombstone moment make the poem so layered….

    1. your prompt was just perfect Sumana – wondered if you think like Rosemary & Mary that I should have included the actual lines as above – I’m still thinking about it

  10. I like your poem a lot, Laura, and I don’t mind you didn’t start the poem with the given line, as the meaning was there lines… Wonderful write.

    1. thank you – the jury is still out on that one – can’t quite decide

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