Monday, March 07, 2011


Not the flowers men give women –
delicately-scented freesias,
stiff red roses, carnations
the shades of bridesmaids’ dresses,
almost sapless flowers,
drying and fading – but flowers
that wilt as soon as their stems
are cut, leaves blackening
as if blighted by the enzymes
in our breath, rotting to a slime
we have to scour from the rims
of vases; flowers that burst
from tight, explosive buds, rayed
like the sun, that lit the path
up the Thracian mountain, that we wound
into our hair, stamped on
in ecstatic dance, that remind us
we are killers, can tear the heads
off men’s shoulders;
flowers we still bring
secretly and shamefully
into the house, stroking
our arms and breasts and legs
with their hot orange fringes,
the smell of arousal.

copyright © Vicki Feaver 1994
Published in The Handless Maiden (Jonathan Cape, 1994).
Poetry archive

I posted a little calendula salve (& a couple of other potions) to my daughter today that I had made from an oil infused from last summer's marigold flowers. To make her well.


  1. Me too. Jolly good stuff (the salve and the poem).

  2. Great stuff, Charlie! Now I'd like to see your poem and pictures of the salve. Also, thanks for sharing your blog!