when in doubt

love-in-a-mist flower pale pink

When in doubt about what to post, it’s always easy to fall back on flower photography and love poetry.

And as I have a set of photos of love-in-a-mist at different stages of flowering, it seems appropriate to find some poems of the different stages of love.

First kiss

It’s there in the air between them.

As hands sketch fragmented curves,
fingertips graze its surface.

They worry it with words,
map points along the borders.

Their tongues taste the edges
of possibility until they find its shape

in the space where their lips meet.

Nigella damascena love-in-a-mist flower


The silent fanfare of the moon
scatters the clouds. Sodium globes loom
in oleander dark. Two pairs of footsteps
dodge round orange pools
and pause
on the corner
where kisses grow.

love-in-a-mist fading flower

Towards a local flora

Kisses grow on the corner
of the village square; they germinate
amid red plastic stacking chairs
and scattered olive stones. Hard
against twelfth century church walls
the double-bodied blossoms stretch
and twine. Like gorse, they bloom
year round – in winter they are often found
in sheltered doorways or jammed
against the scratched perspex
of bus stops – but they flower best
in summer drought and darkness.
They have a tendency to fade
at sunrise.

love-in-a-mist seed pod


in self defence,
neck tense,
jaws clenched
on anger; no kiss,
no whispered word
will slip from lips
pursed tight;
no touch disturbs,
no light shines through
and no smile soothes;
she barely breathes,
afraid to lose


love-in-a-mist seed pod

On Breaking Up
“Las manos son torpes en la ruptura” – M.K.

Once-nimble fingers
fumble; hands
become clumsy,
senses blunted.

I used to know
the where and how;
I stumble;
my tongue trips
on familiar phrases;
sweet words cloy
and leave
a bitter aftertaste.

But we should, perhaps, remember that it’s in the nature of things to go full circle; the seasons turn and those seeds pods will eventually burst and there will be new plants and new flowers next year.

Nigella damascena love-in-a-mist flower


are a series of small serendipities. You ask my name,
and the first time you say it, it trips your tongue and we both laugh.
Your voice reminds me of an actor and I rack my brains to place him,
unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, we discover that we watch
the same movies and read the same books.

The waitress comes to take our order: –Coffee, black, no sugar.
–Make that two.
This gets us talking of the little things. We find
we both like Earl Grey tea (no milk, of course), patatas
ali oli
, home-made pesto, and Rioja tinto. Pickles
are way down on both our lists.

Your birthday is the same day as my dad’s. I wonder
if you realise this makes us astrologically compatible.
You say that you’re a morning person, and I’m curious to know
if you, too, hum in tuneless contentment in the kitchen making toast.
Perhaps you whistle in the shower. When I start to tell a joke, you
supply the punchline. Still, we both laugh as if it was
the first time we’d heard it.

Our legs touch under the table and I feel
as if I’ve rediscovered electricity.

In the street, acacia trees are shedding blossoms.
I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a window and I see
I have confetti petals in my hair. We take the underground – agree
it’s better than the bus – and you stand on the escalator step below me.
Now we’re the same height, your eyes level with mine.

Later discoveries include the grey hairs on your chest
and the way your little toes curl under. You trace
the outline of the birthmark on my hip, and I
am as happy as I was the first time someone did that
years ago.


Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

4 thoughts on “when in doubt”

    1. Thank you. (Also, thank you for the many previous views & likes!)

      I always thought of love-in-a-mist as pretty, delicate and quaint; then I actually noticed the seed pods, which look like something out of a sci fi film. I need to find out what they look like when they’re fully ripe and ready to burst or drop or whatever they do.


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