John Rickell

(I November 1931 / York)

Queen Anne's Lace


NB Sweethearts an alternative name for Cleavers; Queen Anne's Lace the flower heads of Wild Carrot.

Queen Anne's Lace silhouettes in the hedges
hawthorns bound in bindweed ties
white moons shining in the noonday,
trumpets proclaiming summer's afternoon.
Sweethearts cleaving to the branches
the gate ajar creaking as I enter
with poppy red and campion pink.
Mid-summer sun and panting robin
sleeping faun and nettles limp
no more to sting, fretwork ferns
patterns cut, scissors in the night,
nightjars guarding with the owl.
Bracken in the copse turning gold
before the ferns, brambles soon,
purple fingers, bleeding hands and pies
Foxgloves fading seed pods swelling
seedlings for next year around my feet,
Fire-weed soon to light the path.

Submitted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Edited: Saturday, January 18, 2014

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