One to a Vase

Peter Ramm

 

Dahlias are shown three to a vase, except Show Dahlias, which are shown one to a vase.

A vase is any bottle or container suitable for showing Dahlias.

– Show guide for Cut Flower exhibitors

 

The wind blows away our footprints

– Charles Wright

 

 

My roots are a bone river system run dry,

Like an addict’s curse a thousand fingers

Lust for potash and manure, for a phosphorus

Opioid and leaves for caffeinated morning

Rays. I rise for you in the fleeting shade;

In those early breaths, when sparrows tip toe

 

Over westerlies. In the low light sins

Are easier to forgive and the lines

Of your face descend like rain down the shears.

Forget the lime-sulphur bruises you left,

We’re best in the clammy dawn when gardeners

Hunt the rows—ambition full in their eyes.

 

Buds litter the ground like plump grenades—

An innocent libation for Flora.

I ascend with petal tea-cups for the dew,

Florets painting a lilac azulejo.

Love formed in the centre and waited on the wind—

A pollen blush for the touch of time.

 

I remember when I was pared from mother

And planted with eyes to the sun. Outgrown,

Those sodden days fell into summer

And I wept as Icarus burned the sky—

non est ad astra mollis e terris via

How children never fully know their father.

 

There’s a coarseness to gloved hands and the broken

Knowledge of cut stems. When cell walls collapse

And I am no longer part of myself.

The display benches are a garden

of refugees—a hundred sunsets bound

like crucifixes along the Appian Way.

 

 

Peter Ramm is a poet and gardener from Robertson in NSW. He has recently published poems with Eureka Street and the Red Room Company. As an emerging poet, Peter won the Red Room Company’s 2017 and 2019 Poetry Object competitions and was Highly Commended in the Henry Lawson Memorial and Literary Society competition. He finds inspiration in the landscape and people of South Eastern NSW.

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