An occasional series of flash, or sudden, or short-short fictions

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Magnolia Tree

In a break from normal programming, a poem for National Poetry Day.

The Magnolia Tree

I never dream real spaces; or,
rather, I do, but only one,
a house with a magnolia tree.
Often, the house is empty;
or, I still own a key, and (by
mistake) go in, before it
                  One Spring day, on
the road home, I took a path
less travelled by (me), and I
braved the A13; fumes,
road dust, noise. As I walked, I
saw a cat, dead, lying across a
drain. A moment’s grief, I then
walked on a step; stopped;
again, I looked; and stumbled
home for something to fetch
him in. I could not bear to
touch him, this not-cat, doll,
imposter. I scooped him up,
and put him in the ground by
the magnolia tree.
                                The garden
stepped down, in terraced lawns.
Our old dog, his hot blood up, would
chase the neighbour’s cats, and
hurdle flower-beds in his rage; after,
in his dotage, he would, with some
regret, creak slowly back. The
magnolia tree stood at the end, in
a brick-lined round, where nothing
grew. In late Spring, it put forth
pure delight; more wondrous still,
flowers shed, it seemed to strew
dead earth with marble cups.     


  1. The last poem I wrote that I was happy with:

    A cold morning, outside, smoking

    Little bird,
    I forget your name.

    Tiny darting dot -
    here – there –
    climbing upside-down
    down the steps
    of the rockery -

    I want to put you in my mouth.

    How to explain this strange desire?

    Is it that,
    like my
    eighteen-month sister,
    I long to experience the world

    Or is it that,
    after last night’s tenderness,
    I am in love?


  2. except, change the first fullstop for a dash (editing is unending...)

  3. Thank you CW. They're never really finished, are they? I'm never really happy with any of mine. Birds in mouths... interesting!