Gaudy hordes

auricula print photoart
poem & photoart – ©2018 Laura Granby

auriculas are strikingly theatrical
pimped painted ladies flashing frills and jewelled palettes
from stagy shelters; long-stemmed singletons
hoisted above fleshy lobes
like the auricle of Alpine bears

I see them too as tears of heavy-hearted Huguenots
– had their only been an oracle there
before that portentous feast of Saint Bartholomew
the Protestant masses massacred
hordes hastening hither with their silk and silver crafts
and a handful of auricular seeds hoarded by-and-by

French settlers that grew new roots in English soil
thrived and blossomed – their prized pots of Primulas
displayed in showcase fashion for Florist Feasts
how often, I wonder, did these émigrés thank the Lord
they had not whored their faith for life on earth

Auriculas – Primula auricula (ursa) – also Ricklers, Bear’s ears, Painted ladies associated, in garder lore,  with the Huguenot diaspora:-
Auriculas of Spitalfields
England’s First Refugees 

Sarah’s Saturday Mix for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie is : Double Take – utilising two sets of homophones: auricle/oracle; hoard/horde/whored
And today I’m shelving this in the pantry at Poets United

31 comments

  1. What a unique take on the words. I love what you did here and I had never heard of Auriculas before so appreciated learning something new 🙂 I especially like your first five lines and the description you painted. Thanks for joining in the Saturday Mix

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  2. You tossed me like a salad with this one; the flowers, the people. the female persona. Nice very nice Laura
    Thank you for dropping in at my Sunday Standard today

    much love…

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  3. I always enjoy visiting your poems, Laura💖 there is so much to learn what with your exquisite imagery and heart stirring use of diction. “I see them too as tears of heavy-hearted Huguenots.” 💖😍

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  4. What an intriguing background to these flowers, that I have never given a second glance to. But I will now. I especially like the lines about the French settlers planting their lives in new soil………

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  5. Love the take on flowers and their ties to emigrants… there is a trail of flowers that tell a story of a past that is beyond the beauty of the primula… Our garden is filled with common cowslip… and every spring it brings a smile on my face.

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  6. I’m so pleased to read the first poem I have ever seen about the humble primula, of which I am fond, Laura. I love that you think of them as ‘pimped painted ladies flashing frills and jewelled palettes’ and have included interesting historical details.

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  7. “how often, I wonder, did these émigrés thank the Lord
    they had not whored their faith for life on earth”

    And now you have me wondering! Love the hoard/whored/hoared, and all the ways it might be better to be flowers at times.

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    1. thank you Suasan – they were delicious words to play with.
      it’s terrible to think of how many died in those religious divides there in France (and here too of course) but out of it came more flowering of our culture, including auriculas

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  8. Thank you for this interesting and education write Laura.
    I have perhaps the tiniest drop of French blood in me, my father’s ancestry being that of the Huguenots.
    Anna :o]

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