Poppies in October

All done. Now dead.
Poppies. Tattoo by Victor J Webster

Poppies in October

Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly –

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

Oh my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frosts, in a dawn of cornflowers.

— Sylvia Plath (27 October 1962)

Today I got the poppies tattooed. I had vaguely remembered the poem but not that the month was October. And, you know, Plath wrote that on her last birthday alive. Her 30th birthday.

I hadn’t looked up the poem before I got the tattoo. I turn 30 next week.

xx xx

I am, of course, just overthinking this all. It’s just a strange strange coincidence. Also, I am not even in the slightest bit suicidal. So there’s that.

This tattoo, oh, it hurt so bad. SO bad. I hadn’t had my hip tattooed since October 2010 and yeah, there was a reason it took me three years to get the nerve to get another hip tattoo.

Both Victor and Simon Morse complimented me on how well I sit while getting tattooed. Like the terminator, apparently, I just shut down and don’t move. It’s not the most useful talent to have, but I will take it.

But I think my favourite moment was when Victor asked how old I was and, after being told I was a week away from 30, had me repeat myself and then told me he thought I was 23. This baby face of mine is both a blessing and a curse.

Love is the bone and sinew of my curse.


A discussion of Zombie Ants, between Sisters, in Haiku

Zombie Ants

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

Control Alt Delete
Four-Oh-Four: Page is Not Found
Reboot and Start Anew

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte

Creepy zombie ants
stalked through my dreams all last night
perhaps we are next?

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

Ants have very few
Organisational skills
I’m not worried … much

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte

While a fungal head
dress might be rather fetching
where would they send me?

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

This vegetation
Dreams of other rainforests
Of seeing the world

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte

Selfish fungal growth
swears it wants to see the world
instead spreads only spores

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

Strong insectacide
I am ready for battle
The ants will not win.

If I don’t come home
Tell my mother I love her
I will die fighting

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte

Take tiny axes
to stop their zombie advance.
Make it out alive?

We will honor your death
burnt on a funeral pyre
lit by cans of raid

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

Dastardly fungus
We will hold back the zombie
hordes. Its us or them.

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte>

You and I will fight.
Just, do not tell Mother as
she hates chemicals.

She would rather play
host to thousands of fungi
her heart is too kind

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

A kind heart is good
soil for mind control fungus.
Others will fall too.

What of the others?
The public must know of this
We must warn John Key.

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte

I will put it on
the internet. It will spread
like mad, or Zombies!

Perhaps the inter
net is our strain of fungus.
We are all so screwed

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

Operating systems
Have ulterior motives
There is no escape

Are ants a decoy?
Have we been distracted from
The evils in our midst?

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte

I think ants are not
a decoy. I do not like
their swarming ways.

They control us as
evil hive mind internet.
Bees may control all.

Their honey and dance
act only to distract us.
I do not trust them.

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

You have descended
Into wild speculations
Bees are innocent

Consider again
The apparently harmless

What was Ed Levri
Doing in that rainforest
really? Tell me that.

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte

Perhaps I am just
paranoid. My own fungi.
I caught it from Mum.

From: Charlotte
To: Sarah-Rose

A tenacious weed. Are you
sure thats all it is?

From: Sarah-Rose
To: Charlotte

Don’t feed my crazy.
Perhaps I will kill you first
or find that fungi …

Zombie Ants 2

Funny thing was? I was REALLY busy today.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889)

Water droplets
And the sunlight sidled, like dewdrops, like dandled diamonds
From The Furl of Fresh-Leaved Dogrose Down

It only took two and a bit years but I finally finally finally found a book his poetry for sale. Previously? I danced around Shakespeare & Co in Paris with a thin worn tome in my hands before finally realising that it was essays about Hopkins’ work and life (he was a jesuit priest and his poems were never published in his lifetime, I don’t think he ever intended them to be published at all!) and nearly crumpling down right then and there.

Antiquarian Books

His poem Spring is one of the two poems I know by heart, word for word, beginning to end.

Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

The other poem I know off by heart? Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

I won’t go on.

I’m terribly sick of Funerals.

My darling sisters and I read the following poem:

Dirge without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

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Apparently it was written by Gerard Manley Hopkins
lo, how the mighty are fallen.