greentapestry : A Poem For February

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A Poem For February

"Winter holds fast,
But a little warmth escapes like sand
Through the closed fingers.
The error is annual and certain,
Letting the pygmy flowers
Make their prompt appearance
Under creaking trees.
They stand with serious faces, green ruffled,
As prim as Tudor portraits.

In the west
The greys and gleam slide in the wind
And only the descended blackbird
Augments the intrepid yellow."

'Aconites' - Freda Downie, 1929 - 1993

That hand clutching the sand is clenched tight at the moment but the aconites will be spinning their gold sunshine again before long.

The illustration is one of Cicely Mary Barker's 'Flower Fairies'.


  1. What an absolutely charming poem and illustration. Thank you!

  2. I love the Flower Fairies, Anna. I might just have to go and dig out some of my books now you've reminded me of them.

  3. >a little warmth escapes like sand

    Brr. It's cold today, this is what I needed. Thank you!

  4. I keep meaning to buy myself a copy of Flower Fairies, I must look out for it. A wonderful illustration to go with the poem.

  5. My father tried to teach me to read using the flower fairy books out of the Library because I like them so much. A sign of directions in later life, perhaps?

    The aconites are out in some of the gardens here already.

  6. I don't have any aconites in my garden but I think they would go well under the willow tree where not much grows. I used to have a huge book of flower fairies when I was a child unfortunately it got lost somewhere along the way .

  7. I love those illustrations - so charming! Your choice of poem was perfect. I feel the light returning and the slightest stirrings here as well. I think this weekend I will take a look at the southfacing woods to see if any pussywillows are peeking out yet. :)

  8. Hi Anna, There was a church in town with a whole bed of winter aconites. Until last fall when they dug out the entire thing and replaced it with boring lawn. I loved seeing them bloom every winter. Thank you for this sweet post.

  9. You know there was a phase when a notice came up to say there was malware on your site (but only some of us could see it) ? . . . the same notice is coming up now on one of my 'pages'. The notice says it's related to a completely different site which I think must be in the list of links on the page (which I dare not open, even myself!). Did you do anything to sort it when it was happening here - or is it one of those things Google (or whoever) sorts for you? I'm not even sure if it's a genuine notice. Aaaaagh!

  10. I love aconites, and how well the fairy matches them.

  11. What a delightful poem, even if it does remind me, again, that I still didn't get around to planting any aconites. Despite promising myself I would even though we plan to move. Ah well, next garden...

  12. Beautiful little poem and illustration.

    I haven't seem an aconite for years, I'll make a point to see some.

  13. Lovely. I grew up with some old copies of flower fairy books, must hunt them out one of these days.


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- Anna.