TP logo

| Books | Music | Events | New work | Contact & ordering

Lay for the Day
30th March

A seasonal song.

The White Hyacinth

Leggy from the darkness where it grew,
the white hyacinth has settled horizontally
across the stem of its pink companion.

Underground they leant for a basement’s seepage
of sunshine, and lived till British Summer Time began.
Then the column of opaque stiff stars,

ivory-carved, sank on itself
like a sea-creature, shrinking and turning transparent.
March southerlies, veering from boisterous

to huge, blew the first death-day blue-brilliant.
Our loss was made clear by this flower becoming glass,
wrinkling like water by the hour

and doubly beautiful. Now it seems sad as skin
and forsaken as only something human can.

John Gibbens
from Makings ’84-’88

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar