I Would Have
(On the occasion of Mother's 80th. birthday)

I would have brought you flowers
To brighten up your day
For I know where dusty bluebells grow
By a shaded wooded way
And where shy primrose banks
Adorn a sparkling waterfall
And where the scented violet grows
Perhaps the loveliest of all.
Blackthorn sloe, such bitter fruit
Has creamy blooms by an idle quarry
And a creeping yellow tormentil
Eyes the wanton rouged strawberry.

Spring broom, oblivious to the gale
Showers gold on moorland heath
A lichen covered rocky outcrop
Drips on celandine beneath
Close nearby common orchid
Spikes beside a peaty gurgling burn
With here and there a heart's tongue
And an elegant lady fern.
On a patch of fragrant thyme
I've watched a noisy bumblebee
And saw the softest thistledown
Surf a purple heather sea.

I know you love your flowers
And delight to see their show
Hidden treasures that you find
Within the ragged wild hedgerow.
To sacrilege the County's beauty
Is both crime and wicked sin
And sickly cultivated caricatures
Would end up in the bin.
Stems leaf-brown, tired and bare
Cut blossoms' petals shed.
So I didn't bring you flowers but
I've brought you gin instead!



Frog. 1999