looking down on stars

borage flowers from above

Wikipedia shows that there are many plants known as “starflower“, including shrubs, succulents, alpine plants, bulbous perennials and the summer-flowering herb that I know as borage.

Although the flowers of borage are undoubtedly star shaped, and usually a really rather lovely heavenly blue, they tend to face earthwards and grow so low that you end up looking down at their backs, which is not the usual angle for star gazing.

borage flowers from above

Further reading on Wikipedia tells me that Pliny the Elder identified borage with Nepenthe, the drug of forgetfulness, and also offers a quote from John Gerard’s Herball, saying that if you put the flowers into wine it will “drive away all sadness, dullness and melancholy.”

I’m not sure I fancy swallowing the fuzzy sepals, and, anyway, once you get down in the mud and look up at the flowers, they look rather too much like deadly nightshade for me to want to risk it.

borage flower from beneath

So, let’s go back to a world where the stars are above us:


She slips between the bedroom curtains,
steals across the floor and peeks
into the bathroom.

hangs in the air above
a crumpled towel.
Methodically, she checks
the other rooms in turn.

                                She runs
her fingertips along the shelves,
frowns at the dust, reflects
“he’s not exactly what you’d call

                                By mid afternoon,
she’s in the kitchen where she finds
a pile of coffee cups and plates
stagnating on the draining board.
She watches as milk curdles
and bread turns to dust.

                                She leaves
before the boy gets home, so
can only guess about the evenings
when a star-specked sky provides
the backdrop for his romance
with the moon.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

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

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