Autumn Bath

by Lise Day

I love my bath in Autumn when
there is dirt between my toes
I have pressed the soil firmly round
fat Cape Hyacinth bulbs eager
small green fingers poking upwards.
Dirt under my nails as I have
scrabbled holes for hairy Ixias
with their tufts of dangling roots
to grasp the anchoring earth.
Dirt where I have pushed slender
corms of Botterblom deep
into the fertile loam.
As I scrub with pumice stone
while the cold Autumn rain
beats against the window
I choose not to think of
puppy, porcupine or squirrel,
but let galaxies of stars
bending slender stems;
ranks of purple bells on sturdy stalks;
fragile petal cups, butter-yellow
holding the morning sunshine
enhance the balm of water.


Red disas

by Liz Trew

Mountain Pride the brown butterfly lands on my red coat
thinking I’m a flower.
He loops away down valley then spies the flaring reds
beside the dark water –
demure virgins of the dance hall
waiting in flared skirts for a partner.

He lands lightly on a petal unrolling his tongue
to sip her nectar
while she douses him with a shower of pollen.
There he goes, carting and collecting yellow sacs of pollen
fluttering from flower to flower
to put out the fire.