Runcible Spoon

poetry and prose webzine

Poetry Prose Submissions Contributors Home heart logo Privacy Notice Links DS Maolalai

The poppy farmer.


bored at the start of summer

I scatter seeds

for wildflowers - paper packets

bought on a whim

and the assumption

that they won't need

much care. 6 weeks on


I go out again. the garden

is mint

and all poppies -

6 foot standing,

and wet like wax paper.

they were planted

in my grandfather's veg patch;

now I grow

no parsnips. just

the sound of butterflies

floating about,

busy and quiet

as an unloading banana truck

or people working

in mcdonalds.


none of the other flowers

have sprouted - I'm a poppy farmer now.

one of them, the petals

battered down

with rain, traps a bumblebee - the hum on saturday

hammering silence. I pull them back

carefully, and it floats upward,

wavering in an ungainly hover

like a helicopter, shaking on the thames,

or the seed of a dandelion

caught in its wake,

blowing, and beginning