childhood daisy chains

June 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm (Uncategorized) ()

This week’s challenge for the Poetry Bus was to write on the more general category of ‘flora/fauna’, which I suppose left it wide open for people to do what took their fancy, though nicely in keeping with the season. We have been cutting the grass this week so I was thinking of times when I was young and always feeling annoyed at my dad for cutting the grass and chopping down all the daisies. So here is my offering, and a homage to Gerard Manley Hopkins ‘Binsey Poplars’, of which I am very fond.

Daisy chain

Daisies, only yesterday scattered across

the lush expanse of un-mowed lawn

All chopped, chopped, are all chopped

their petals heaped amongst the verdant mulch

not spared, not one

for small girl to frolic in fancy and

festoon herself a fairy queen.

O if he but knew what he did

when he mowed and trimmed

cut down those fragile blossoms

the dreams of childhood

so transient,  in wild abandon

she who bedecked with garlands

would dance among the saplings

now stands forlorn.

After-comers cannot guess the beauty

that might have been

the spinning blade wipes clean

makes neat, pristine

Daisy chain, a daisy chain

sweet delicate daisy chain



  1. The Bug said,

    My husband and I were talking today about the clover in our yard – we’re kind of sad when we have to mow it. But we live in a neighborhood so it doesn’t do for the grass to get too high. Same with the dandelions earlier…

    Our daisies are in our flower bed – so no danger they’ll be lost to the blade!

  2. Gwei Mui said,

    What a sad tale. There is somehting about the daisy-chain memory that is both happy and rather regretfull – your peoem has summed this up beuatiful.The tranistion from childhood to adullthood – from summer to autumn. I really am smitten with this work.

  3. poetikat said,

    I really liked this – the chop, chop, chop cut to the quick, but you rescued it with the verdant mulch and the fairy queen. Enjoyed this very much.


  4. Pete said,

    I’ve never read Hopkins (he was great in Silence of the Lambs though) but this is very very good. I like the repetition of the words and the image of the sad child looking out of the window one morning. I think this is one of your best.

  5. said,

    Oh CFM I do love this – it is always the problem isn’t it? Do we leave those wonderful golden buttercups in the herbaceous border where they shine out like little suns – do we leave the daisies dotted in the grass – if we cut them back we feel bad – if we leave them we are judged rotten gardeners – loved it. I love GMH too – my favourite is probably Heaven Haven. Thanks for hopping on the bus.

  6. NanU said,

    that is just exactly how I felt after a friend mowed my yard this weekend, for the first time in three years!

  7. Dominic said,

    I feel moved to go and make one: only I don’t think we’ve got enough daisies here. Loads of dandelions though!

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