Other Flowers

After a little hiatus while I caught my breath, I’m back with the next few Strange Prompts.


Esther Bonner has donated a set of near-haikus to bring in the spring.

Springtime has arrived.
Daffodils dance, dash and dive.
Vibrant tulips thrive.

Fragrant sweet peas flower.
Marigolds outlast hot Summer days.
Bold hydrangeas bloom.

Autumnal colours flash.
Fiery pom-pom heads of dahlias dash.
Coppery-pink Mespilus splash.

Cyclamen brighten dull days.
Sturdy pansy faces Winter winds.
Crocus, snowdrop emerge.

I love this one from Katharine Goda, it tugs at my heart in gentle but persistent ways.

Tulips – red purple yellow –
a bubbled glass of blue sky.

Mummy? Why is
just this one dying?

Chance, bruised heart,
or just not strong enough.

She lifts it, waxy, sighing
beside bright brothers.

In the garden  
it might come alive?

The big world widens.
I plant her in my lap,

watch trapped light,
promise compost.

Boris And The Otters

“As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is plashing off the brims of the spectators’ sou’westers.”

Boris Johnson, commenting on the 2012 Olympic Women’s Volleyball

tumblr_ljwl2fWEqw1qarjnpo1_1280In this quote, Boris demonstrates two things. Firstly, a certain deftness with sentence construction, a breadth of vocabulary and an almost proprietorial familiarity with fine art history that is entirely fitting in one who has received so staggeringly privileged and expensive an education. Secondly, a terrifying ignorance of the tendency of otters, according to Japanese folklore, to shapeshift into beautiful women with the express purpose of seducing, killing and eating unwary men.

As the official NaPoWriMo prompt for today is to write a fan letter, I have chosen to write from some imaginary Japanese shape-shifting man-eating volleyball-playing otter-women to the Mayor of London. (My cavalier use of ungrammatical pronouns is intended to give an eerie, ‘demonically-possessed baby doll’ feeling to the piece, not an uncomfortably racist ‘JaJa Binks’ vibe, just FYI)).

Boris And The Otters

Sexy otter girls, we

Sleek! you watch, Borisu-san,

But do not see we.


Silly! we see you

Feast eyes on we lissom limbs,

Silken like tofu.


Suave you phrases plash!

Rain from you lyrical tongue!

Favourite muscle!


Storehouse of treasure,

You brain sleep in marrow sea,

Soft, sashimi-grade.


Speak we of art now?

Great man, stories of great men!

You hair kawaiiiiiiiiiii, ne?


Shall we little claws

Scratch you noble back, broad

Like Kobe beef-cow?


Secret, we sharp teeth

Wait for you, ichiban man,

Steamy bean dumpling!


Shhhhhhhhhh!! you no mind knives

We whet them in you honour,

Delicious Borisu-san….