Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Florence Blooms

FLORENCE BLOOMS  Wendy Webb


He swept up works of art from off the ground,
ran fast and left but one that could be found.
We stood, immobile tourists, all around
and watched no strong arm of the law confound.

Much later, small road-sweeping vans crept in…
slow and municipal, the public bin.
As pavement art grew, trading night to win
the prize, as public purse-strings entered in.

The city came alive to blooming lights,
a fleur-de-lys of music, colours, sights.
Rich gastronomic scenes played freedom’s rights
and Firenze exhaled sweetest perfumed flights.


Note: Florence means ‘flower’ and the symbol of the city is the fleur-de-lys, or lily.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Floral tributes

FLORAL TRIBUTES FOR MY VALENTINE  Wendy Webb


My sweet is like a red carnation
delivered, full of optimism.
Presenting an upright bunch, it says
in floriography:
‘my heart aches for you.’
I’ll return a scented handkerchief
and narcissus, ‘stay sweet as you are.’

Why did my love send yellow sweet briar?
Now my love-lies-bleeding.
Misreading my sweet bright petals
for yellow: ‘egotism.’

I will not swoon, I’ll return jonquils:
‘love me and return my affection.’
He’ll be mortified his prickly briar
read sadly: ‘love in decline.’
Dare I wear sad forget-me-nots,
or – like the hero – will it sweep him away?
He must be mine, I will remember the vine,
send him ivy ‘Poetica.’

His bunch arrived, but pointed down,
I fainted all that day,
till I read ‘perfected loveliness’
was the message of white camellias.
That evening he sent azaleas,
wrapped around with honeysuckle.
I read him true, blushed white to pink;
his message: ‘save yourself for me.’
He’s climbed my bustle and crinoline form
with ‘generous love and devotion.’

My mother, dear, said ‘Candytuft’
was a suitably prim reply.
‘Indifference,’ indeed, from her maybe;
I sent the sweetest almond.

His retort? Rose, Lord Penzance:
his pert bunch played with me.
My bodice tight, my basque constricts,
could he think my ‘love in decline?’
Giggling, the parlour maid loosened my ties
at my earlier ‘stupidity.’

Symbology was full of thorns,
would our love flower to holding hands?
I stroked cyclamen, gazed wanly abroad in: ‘resignation and goodbye.’

My love sent ‘spirited’ freesia,
pale lilies: ‘pure and sweet.’
Decorated with ‘baby’s breath’
and iris: ‘my compliments.’

My love is mine no longer,
for when I sent a rose: ‘true love,’
the florist arranged it with mignonette:

‘Your qualities surpass your charms.’