September 2021

Back to Issue 10

Late Flowering

By Phil Brown

Am I having a late flowering?

On account of all that Chinese poetry

About maidens longing for absent lords

Or was it reading Dransfield today that did it?

He was so elegantly doomed

And no-one writes in such a courtly, wasted fashion


How wonderful it is to sing a song again

And if this is my late flowering

Fetch bowls and vases please,

Help me celebrate the blooms.

The petals are strewn here on the floor

And gather some frangipanis –

The tree outside my window is flowering too


Bring me the moon to add some atmosphere

And drape a thin veil of cloud across the sky

So that here, with heaven’s mandate,

The verses can be composed

As it was in the old days

When the masters painted their poems

And birds on the wing recited them


So let the late flowering continue

And may the clouds shroud the distant mountain

Bringing warm sweet rain to the forests;

Fetch some stardust to sprinkle across the scene,

Invoke the spirits of the past

And let the blossoms unfurl

This unexpected spring