A rose at bay

photoart rosebay willowherb poem
photoart @hanginguptodry

“When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one”*

willowherb sets its face windward
cornered coloniser of the wasteland
drills seed into dry, virgin dust
an aftermath of fire fringing forest and fen
when missiles misted London gardens in carmine rain
and railways forged wildflower borders of rose
in trails of dragon breath

©Laura Granby

Rosebay Willowherb is London’s official flower –  known as Fireweed & Bombweed for obvious reasons

Inspired by the Dverse word prompt ‘rose’ +Quadrille.. 44 words minus the title and opening lines from T.S.Eliot: The Four Quartets

Sea wolves

sailing poem - photoart sailboats on the deben
photoart @hanginguptodry

First we watched a league of longships
swarm along the river Deben
heard the beat of oar in rhythm
heard the slapping of the water
roar of Saxon froze the marrow
saw the white winged sails enfolded
like our homing birds at sunset
so began the raids and plunder
fights with iron fist and metal
slaughter for each other’s kingdoms
in the evening then these Norse men
drank sweet mead that summons dreaming
gods of love and war and thunder
seas that lure and cast assunder
drifting to the realms of Wōden
sea wolves sailing up the Deben

©Laura Granby

Taking to the waters in Longfellow rhythm with the Real Toads 100 word prompt: Sailing.

Prose and Pelargoniums

scented pelargonium
Photoart Source @hanginguptodry

I’ve come to the imaginary garden again, hoping for pointers and a whiff of inspiration- the scents after all are so sublime. Or should that be ambrosial, aromatic or even redolent?

“Just say what you mean” said the Muse in a voice resembling Hemingway’s gravelly tones: “I’m not a bloody thesaurus”

“No but one is always searching for a bon mot that just fits the metre”

“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over”.

After a considered pause what else was there to say:
“Well the advice of course is quite appreciated. I take your point but a man of bulls and fire-power is not my kind of stimulation”

“Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you”.

“Ah  now I see the confusion for that is where poet and writer diverge. We’ve no need for stories that begin with a head and finish with a tail if you’ll forgive the pun – those somewhere starts that end elsewhere. That genre belongs to Old Norse and the hypergraphic epics of seagulls and doom”.

I walk away downhill, to the dry lowland garden and wonder how much Ernest was beset with the bold and resolute weight of his Christening. Evidently out of touch now. Past post modern, poetry has been freed from dramatic narrative. It is sweet and fitting now to say everything in a symbolic stream of consciousness unfettered as free verse. Sort of  nonsense poetry with sophistication. Dylan showed the way; Bob even more so than the Welsh bard:

“The kings of Taurus with their convict list
Are waiting in line for their geranium kiss”*

Ah! I perceive the half-rhyme of-course and their kiss is by the way. But adjective is prompt and turning to its noun, the poet steps into a Spanish garden and sees:

pelargonium mounds
a chorus of  crisp, creased skirts
spread low as the dance troupe’s final bow

 dusky dust bathers in dry heat
slapping on sun-seeping oils
pine, apple, apricot and mint

fruit flavoured pastels in aromatic shades
even attar of rose pink mimickers
tender as the night

and long after the flower show
tiny long-beaked birds
flock to fragrant foliage


Pelargonium/geranium from Greek meaning Stork/Crane in reference to shape of seed heads. Hence cranesbill.

Emboldened quotes from Hemingway

* From ‘Sad eyed lady of the lowlands

Experimenting with description in both prose and poetry for the With Toads prompt:”Bits of Inspiration“.  And joining the open link night at DVerse