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Tag Archives camellia


As a wave breaking then breaking then breaking

and, finally, falling, dispersing on the sands,

the red azalea bloomed then the crimson

camellia, the purple magnolia

and the white weeping cherry – its blossoms,

the silk folds of its petals, April’s winds

and showers were scattering like snowflakes.


After, the unfolding flesh of the leaves,

contoured like malachite, sturdy as stone

seemingly, seduces. How can this surprise

more and more each year, as if unknown,



A young wood pigeon, not much more than a

nestling seems, at first, to be sheltering,

from the almost Mediterranean heat,

in the short shadows cast by the pots

of lilies and lavender.  But, closer,

I see it is limping, its left foot damaged.

Seeing me, it hobbles out of sight

into an exotic, Sleeping Beauty-type

border of camellia, crocosmia,

rhododendron. Later, an adult bird

lands, walks the edge of the border,

its head bobbing, then flies away.



You and I with fifty valentines and

February’s sun pale on the glass!

We count the camellia’s crimson blooms –

and remember, last summer, our grandchild

shivering with ecstasy the day

she chased her daddy with the garden hose.

From here, the house seems sentient, our

remembrancer – the lawns and borders and

parts of neighbours’ houses an urban landscape.

In this wooden hexagon – a half-glazed

gazebo, its blind back turned to a high

Victorian wall festooned with ivy

and clematis –



Embrasure, Spinalonga © SCES 2003

This house is sentient, light with rapture,

replete with canny, familiar ghosts.

This house has been indifferent

to vicissitudes of human fortune:

train wreck and famine, siege and tsunami.

The grounds have diminished. From the residue,

you have made an L-shaped paradise:

rhododendron, camellia, nasturtium,

eucalyptus – a global gazetteer.

On some summer nights, the pomaded air

heavy still with heat,