Their late blooming spears spill from my beds
reliable as the poppy pinned to your coat
well into November
leave ointment pink medals
like skin grafts on fallen leaves
the lapsing ghosts of stems, and I think
they are taking back their dead
sentries for a season
and they’re done
the whole year’s flowering
fallen to the ploughshare.
with its carolling drunks
arrives like a regimental train
its run of blood-red indulgence
cutting winter in two.
Clare Phillips lives in Dumfries and Galloway, home to Scotland's and is a poet, Quaker, and Scottish Green. She has read at the Bakehouse in Gatehouse-of-Fleet and been published locally by Markings and Southlight for over twenty years. Retirement from social work training has given Clare more time to engage with writing. Support from Bakehouse Director Chrys Salt under a Festival mentoring scheme bore fruit when she gained the 2019 Festival's 'Fresh Voice' award. Clare hopes to publish a second pamphlet since 'Two of Things' in 1998. Peace is bound to feature as will humans' conflicted relationship with nature.