Friday 4 July 2014


How often do you buy flowers? These days, with an allotment, I do not tend to buy them as regularly as I used to. Also I am more aware of the distance they have travelled and the resources they require. Here is a poem from 1994.

The Politics of Buying Flowers

Last night filling with cheap petrol,
even in the sodium glare,
their colour provoked.

So I bought them for Jon.

Endured the limping images 
the man felt compelled to speak.

I wanted to say:
They are for my friend,
he will see their beauty 
and smile.
From the perspective of twenty years later I am not sure it quite works. I remember the incident. I noticed the flowers and bought them for my friend. The man in the petrol station assumed they where for the wife and that they must be an attempt to ingratiate myself.

Today I think I would simply tell him who they were for. Then I just smiled and drove away, feeling uncomfortable with my collusion in maintaining a tired stereotype.

Here is another take.

The Politics of Buying Flowers

Provocative colour,
even when badly displayed.

So I bought them for Jon.

As I pay I collude with seaside postcard stereotypes.

I wonder if the man speaking,
believes in the words,
that fall from his mouth.

Perhaps we should both come clean,
admit their beauty.

It would not kill us.
Here is Lucy Ward singing For the Dead Men.


  1. Like the idea of buying flowers for a man reason why not.

    Flowers do not state
    Buy me for her.
    They merely flaunt their beauty and say:
    This is me.

    (almost a poem)

    1. I am in Barcelona at the moment and my phone is playing up. Thanks for your kind words.