Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Flowers after the Funeral

“And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose”
Dylan Thomas

“Look, we don’t love like flowers, with only a single season behind us;”

Flowers lay here,
Dissipating futures
On a dark wind.

Growing; as in our absence
Mountains moved,
Plains settled and grew still.
Enduring chance mutations
Long before aesthetic seasons
Forced their glory
From an ancient breed.
Yet they had need of us,
For it was us
Who gave them name,
Who rearranged each double helix,
Creating fresh displays
Fit for bouquets of death.

We’ve learned to live,
Aware all dying wreaths
And we, once shared
The same first stirring
In primeval seas.
Where such potential moved
That we can mould each fading flower,
But are grown mute to tell
Their glory how decay
Shall place our song
Of their short seasons
Against the scale
Which moves the stars.

For, who recalls a poppy
At the gates of Troy,
Or names which garland
Wreathed Achilles’ tomb?
What flower loves the seed
From which it came,
Or sees the beauty
In another’s bloom?

©James Rainsford  2011

Note to readers: Written in response to attending the funeral of a dear friend and mentor. Posted as my contribution to Open Link Night at dVerse Poets on 4th October. Your views are welcome. Please click on the tab below to leave a comment. Kind regards to all who visit here. James.


  1. Flower sure told a tale in this verse, whether there for a bit or there for a while, they can say a lot.

  2. ah you quoted two of my fav poets james...esp. fell in love head over heals with your last stanza...For, who recalls a poppy
    At the gates of Troy - dang - love it...what a beautiful poem for that sorry for the loss of your friend

  3. wow, nicely done...i think perhaps those that were there perhaps remember the flowers...just a bit a of beauty to touch the day...i like flowers...

    1. nice look back at this one james...i would like the seed to look back a tthe flower...and to admire the beauty in another...maybe that is just my hope for the world leeking in there...smiles...

  4. I liked the imagery in the poem, and the lead in quotes. True, we dont love like a flower, or indeed hate like one either which is the flip side of love...

  5. There is so much more to this post than a picture and a poem. The introductory quotes set the mood, and the piece itself has the feel of a great classical piece. What lines to sere the soul.

  6. James...this is stunning language, but yet, so sad :( You can consider this felt. Love the reference to the poppy at the gates of Troy.

  7. Great images throughout. An elegy for life, the flower as symbol. Solid work. Well done!

  8. I'll never look at a flower in the same way again... great depth

  9. Love, "For, who recalls a poppy
    At the gates of Troy," - This was just lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed it :)

  10. They needed us to give them names--or we needed them on which to bestow them, and everything that goes along. Commiserations for your loss, and no remembrance could be finer than your last stanza.

  11. Sorry for your loss.
    Very fitting poem. Well written.

  12. Ah, interesting! We attribute so many human characteristics to flowers...Narcissus, is that you?...and yet, as you so aptly point out, they are not human, not mythical at all. They are a season's transient beauty, and yet, we need each other, I think.

  13. this poem is packed with allusion(s) many as are a bouquet. lovely tale. your ending nails it all. absolutely classic, man.
    I'm sorry for your loss -- I thank you both and he for the emergence of this poem which very well may have been lost to the gates of Troy sans you both.

  14. Beautiful, your poems always evoke a longing even in this piece. The last stanza moved me.

  15. I so much like how you have told a tale in this verse using flowers they did an excellent job and so well done

  16. flowers after Funeral are beautiful and insightful to remind us how fragile life can be.

    amazing piece.

  17. What a stunningly beautiful poem and a wonderful tribute to your friend. I am sorry for your loss.

  18. Beautifully sad. Really love this poem.

  19. Agree with Loleamouse - a stunningly beutiful write and a wonderful tribut to your dear friend.

    Anna :o]

  20. This is a for sure dark poem...and I'm sorry for your loss.

    Beautiful sad and heart-felt.

  21. The Stirring emotion is so evident in your words and lyrical imagery. Delicate and beautiful, yet powerfully written. SO nice!

  22. This is so beautiful it touches the soul flowers have a way of doing that even in sorrow.

  23. Beautiful tribute to your friend. It evokes such deep emotions.

  24. Fine poem. Condolences on your friend.

  25. an eloquent and gracious elegy ~ M

  26. So sorry for your loss James. "What flower loves the seed
    From which it came,
    Or sees the beauty
    In another’s bloom?" It seems to me, we are the flowers. Remembering a mentor is a form of loving the seeds planted in you... I am sure your friend saw your beauty as you as you saw his/hers.


If you wish your views and opinions to be published here, please be polite and respectful. I welcome feedback on my work and will try to respond if you take the trouble to post a comment. Thanks for visiting 'The Sanctum of Sanity.' Hope you enjoyed the experience, James.