[Poem] Yet Another Flower Poem, by John Eppel

The American Dream is uncovered for being just that
in the flowers of the poinsettia, which are not flowers
at all but a series of scarlet bracts or modified leaves.
They recall the lips of Hollywood stars like Rita Hayworth,
and, most poignantly, of America’s astounding poet,
Sylvia Plath. But this is my garden in Bulawayo!
What has the American Dream or “manifest destiny”
got to do with it? Everything, I guess; except our clichés
are different, like “Commonwealth of Nations”, “rod of empire”,
“Rule Britannia”. And this shrub, Euphorbia pulcherrima,

adorning my early winter garden, concordant with that
afterglow of common thatching grass unsettling as its “flowers”,
is as much a settler as I am; and the day that it leaves
is the day I leave: “For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth”,
as politicians have, and academics (a makiwa
should restrict his content to the flora of Bulawayo)
“to stir men’s (sic) blood”. My settler friends and me, our destiny
is obscure. We measure out our lives in platitudes, clichés,
watching the sun set on Zimbabwe, as it set on empire:
scarlet and gold, heart-breaking, most beautiful — pulcherrima.

(c) John Eppel, 2008

About the author

John Eppel is an award-winning poet, novelist and short story writer. His books include the novels, D.G.G. Berry’s The Great North Road ( Carrefour-Hippogriff, 1992); Hatchings (Carrefour, 1993) and The Giraffe Man (Queillerie, 1994). His latest novel, The English Teacher (extract) is due out shortly from amaBooks.

One Response to “[Poem] Yet Another Flower Poem, by John Eppel”
  1. Craig Sinclair says:

    Does all your work have hidden meaning?

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