Thursday, June 4, 2009

Papaver Orientale

I always think of the Oriental Poppy as the aunts you were fascinated by but slightly ashamed of in your youth, extroverts, daringly dressed, wearing bright red lipstick. These have flourished and multiplied in the garden and make a great show at this time of year, their strident colour a great contrast with the more restrained tones around them. "It's summer" they seem to say "What the hell!" Each bloom lasts a very short time but there are many more to replace them. A real star of the summer garden.

A poem The Poppy here by Francis Thompson of The Hound of Heaven fame.

Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there:
Like a yawn of fire from the grass it came,
And the fanning wind puffed it to flapping flame.

The Red Poppy here by American poet Louise Gluck.

The great thing
is not having
a mind.

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