Small, yet strangely satisfying,
this thumb and index finger pinching
the vulnerable necks of flowers gone to seed.
Colour blanched or toasted brown
miniature flowerheads give up so easily.
Not so the roses or hydrangeas,
that all summer have thrust their shameless blooms,
flick of satin and lace, like a can-can chorus line
above the restrained and muted lawn.
In death, they cling on, even though their petals
fade or fall away, they resist my determined, whole hand pulling
but not the indisputable cut of the blade.


Sea creatures, bodies softened
gold and saffron-crisped, lift above
a glissade of green waves.
Lily petals fold together, close and twist
into a spiralled tube that splays
into six, fine dry tentacles.
I free this art-nouveau creation
with clumsy fingers.


Dancers: they carry their pink and purple
skirts on points, energy focused
and finely tuned
to their flashy pirouettes. They fall,
before their colour fades,
precarious, intense and brief.


Whose flower spreads itself
like its name, generous of colour, flaming red
or silken maroon, shrinks back, closes
its open throat to the pout of a thin whistle
and drops, all energy spent, every last breath
blown into my palm.


Clutches of blossoms
shout colour, demand attention.
As petals dry, tissue-light then fall away,
paper chains of paired sepals
trail, wind down summer.

~ Pam Galloway

Born in northern England, Pam Galloway now lives in Vancouver. Her poetry is published widely in literary magazines and anthologies and on the website of the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate. She contributed to a poetry collection with four other poets: Quintet: Themes and Variations, (Ekstasis Editions, 1998). Her first book of poetry Parallel Lines was published in 2006, (Ekstasis Editions). She has an MFA in creative writing from UBC.

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