There are many flowers in the church garden at the moment: still lots of snowdrops, daffodils beginning to come into bloom, and a few pale primroses. Perhaps loveliest of all are the beautiful mauve crocuses photographed here.
Almost excactly a year ago, I wrote about the crocuses in the post poetry and prayer, saying that they reminded me of hands folded in prayer or raised in gratitude to receive the gifts bestowed on the one who prays.
I don’t have many new thoughts on the subject, so let’s return to Emily Herbertson, who has apperared here previously. She would, no doubt, have preferred rather more flamboyant blossoms, but she still recognised the power and importance of quiet of prayer and meditation.
At the Foot of the Rainbow
Emily Herbertson wears
a royal purple coat. Hatless,
she boasts a salon-fresh blue rinse;
on her dress, vermilion cabbage roses
crowd out birds of paradise.
Her winter scarf and gloves
are sunshine yellow and her shopping bag
a psychedelic swirl of pink and gold.
Larger than life, and twice as colourful,
in summertime she floats in chiffons
and silks. Her generous bosom
holds a voice to rock the gods,
and operatic gestures mark
the rhythms of her speech.
But look down at her feet
in any season and you’ll see
neat lace-ups, polished, brushed and buffed
daily in a silent prayer
in memory of Mr H.