Poems on poetry


1 Birth of a poet

2 How to write a poem at home



planting-thyme copy



2 June 2009 2.9


Birth of a poet      



The flower of the clivia

expresses desire,

a yearning to live.

Its delicately shifting shades of orange,

yellows, reds and whites

are a lure

to the deep delights

within her sleek tube.


The clivia holds me

within the swelling sunlight

of her curving petals,

the suave line of her pistil,

the joyful greens of her sepals.


She fills my breath

with the joyful smell

of unspoken words,

the fragrance of growth,

the delicacy of new life.

I am her newborn.



How to write a poem at home


I like lazing on a sunny afternoon

musing on the trees

through my toes,

hoping that a poem will come.


A drunken butterfly ballerina

falling about in the flowers

comes blundering into my mind,

clutching a glass of wine.


“Be drunk,” Baudelaire said,

if not with wine then on laziness.

Actually, that’s what I said –

– the line about laziness –

so now we have a lecherous lepidoptera,

but still we’re searching for a poem.


Best is, let the reason simply roam,

hand in hand with the dozy ballerina.

Stroll through les fleur du mal

at the back of your mind,

pluck the best of the days before,

to present the ballerina with a nosegay,

even go to sleep if you’re so inclined –

don’t worry, be happy;

in the end the poem will have its say.