Holding Sunflowers by the Throat, or, What Do You Put on a Flower’s Grave?

Sunflowers poem


Sunflowers clipped and put inside

In beautiful, expensively bought vases

Where they die

Vases gilded with images of life

Daffodils, lilies and fireflies

Nice things that rejuvenate the room

We bought into our own lies like falling into the tomb

We read we can regrow life if we take it so that’s what we do

We grow in haste and are apathetic of our waste and throw away anything with a bruise

We uproot our lives on a whim and move, we’re drowning in freedom and hate to choose

It’s killing me to be human, in this world where we define ‘win’ as ‘someone has to lose’

Each tread’s tentative step avoiding minefields we must travel through

My collar getting looser and my soul’s aura, my whole mood, becoming blue

I am a sunflower in a lightless room

I am a curse held on the lips that don’t dare budge or move

I become violent to myself because it’s the best way to control the pain’s deluge

And stand on lilies of stability the water level threatens but can’t seem to move

I go to work and work away my youth for nothing special but the generic run of truths

A roof over my head, a mortgage I’ll prostitute any beauty I have working to serve

Until I’m an old dead flower with my roots pulled, shaken free of dirt and preserved

In a book somewhere, the years best worker and producer of value, the most well-trained serf

When I drown in oil and water and waste I’ll sink below the tide of junk

And live on the roads in the ocean’s floor where new species no one ever sees grows

I’ll give my body up as fertiliser and I’ll leave sunflowers to live their life alone



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