Thursday, March 4, 2010

Winter Olympics

A new poem

Winter Olympics

Not a maple in sight, when she
sold us the place Elizabeth asked

if she could dig up a cherished camellia.
While we believed it was too big to survive

the strain we said ‘Sure’. Behind
the hole it left was a cowering wintersweet.

Leslie gave a white abutilon cutting
to fill the gap. Stasis did not prevail.

The flame lit, competitively the two plants
bolted for the space of sky, a trajectory

of green-power. Nature’s not into charity.
The surrounding tall trees presented a challenge.

After two years, the abutilon now has a three
foot stem before four leggy branches, huge leaves

& only five flowers, graceful as dance skaters
on ice. Revitalised the wintersweet jostles like

an overbearing ice hockey jock. There is only
room for one on the central podium. My money‘s

on the abutilon, but there are further
complications in our small coppice corner

for at their feet there’s this cheeky indigenous
intruder, a red stemmed, peppery-leaved matipo

Harvey McQueen

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