You Sent Sunflowers


Those midnight searches
for slugs, my torch to spot and swat
most away, yet leaving some

on the single exenterated stalk
clearly and cleanly loved to its diminishing:
this utilitarian reserve

that saved remaining and
tall ones with buds ready to open as suns.
You had sent

Vanilla Ice, opened as a
bouquet florists would collate into occasions.
And you sent

Sungold, the iconic one
we stopped to watch in French fields years
ago. You sent

Red Sun, its darkness
radiant as a burst of beauty’s randomness.
Also – surprise extra – you sent

Teddy Bear, a fluff-ball of yellow,
and that’s the inventory of Helianthus done.
So I sent you

pictures of them all in a row,
their constellation against a backdrop of green
where you once played,

and tonight’s searches
will be more of this routine for sending back
as far as the continuing.



A word retrieved
before it had finished its work
of being in the past.

The almost of
surrounding when water circles
but cannot find itself –

there is more in the
grammar of explanations than in
its formatting purposes.

How Coleridge sees it as
parting delayed when lovers
defer to metaphor;

how Donne takes his proof
in the resistance of border-breaks
for a connection.

As this spit of land,
the imagery transforms its grace
like erosion,

and in that name-checked war
there are all of the alignments and
subterfuges of self that

wrap round the same today,
and here on an actual island our links
continue diminishing.