West Park

The incredible show of blossom in West Park has been a constant source of pleasure on my recent, sunbathed, circuits as convalescent and eventually led to the following lines, written with one eye to a submission for Margaret Holbrook’s forthcoming collection, “Landscapes”.  Once I had this poem on the computer screen, I remembered that, back in December, 2015, I’d written a quite different account of the park, one frothing over with metaphor. It’s called “Christmas Eva, Christmas Rhos” and can be found posted on the blog 3 years ago. My vocabulary palette of colours seems to have shrivelled and drooped post-op.!

West Park

Flames leap from the azalea’s burning bush,

whilst rhododendrons’ more subtle blooms

smoulder, pale alba, pink and red,

and hint at long forgotten, distant,

snow-capped Himalayan peaks,

not Shuttlingsloe.


The whites and purples of the crocuses are a memory

and the daffodils have brazened and blazed where now

their dead heads shrivel and droop, but it’s time for

pink blossom confetti to carpet the park’s paths,

tempting the dog walker and the toddler, the jogger

and the convalescent to scuff and shuffle a shoe

or scoop whole handfuls and hurl them skywards

to celebrate the marriage of the seasons.


And the fragrance, delicate, almond-tinged,

its source elusive, bathes our senses

just feet away from bustling, busy roads.

White clad bowlers launch their ovals across the pristine green

towards that target jack, half watched, half-ignored,

by clumps of youngsters, ice-cream cones a-drip.

Sumer is icumen in. Lhude sing cuccu.*.


*Mid-thirteenth century round, author unknown.



  1. STEPHEN JOSEPH · May 15


    Sent from my iPad



  2. teacherspet1 · May 15

    I enjoyed this. Hope you are feeling better. Enjoy the sunshine and don’t worry about the bits you can’t do yet. It will all get done another day. Love Margaret

    Sent from my iPad



  3. Margaret Holbrook · May 15

    Pleased you’re enjoying those West Park Walks. Everything growing is beautiful at the moment. And you mentioned, Summer is icumen in, and what do you know? A choir I belonged to a few years ago sang that often this time of year at concerts and so on. It was one of our favourite pieces. So thanks for reminding me.


  4. davidandcherie · May 15

    Hi Phil. John Lindley said that your ticker surgery had gone well. Great news!! Hoping it won’t be too long before we see you back at the open mike! Best wishes David & Cherie



    • doggerelbanksy · May 15

      Beginning to get back into the swing of things, but difficult not to rush it. Friends have been helping out at home and the allotment (no lifting, digging, mowing, driving… and no house work!), but Mady has had to bear the brunt of it. See you soon.


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