earth shadow, Poem, Poetry

Clare Crossman

Dandelions 1962

At the derelict municipal garden,
we picked bunches from behind
the overgrown band stand.
Laburnum, (oriental lantern flowers),
Lilac (every drifting hem), cherry blossom
(old fashioned) and cow parsley (organza trace).

Some, we pressed under heavy books,
to lie between thick pages.
Kept in the dark, they lost their colour
their beauty faded to pale and tissue thin,
a list of names.
We wrote by hand in ink:
name, date when found.
Dandelions stained our fingers
and their intangible gossamer clocks,
drifted away like moths.

In winter, we would
conjure the flowers again:
with paints on paper, making a new book,
where they rambled in profusion
and were wild. Tumbling and falling
keeping the difference
of their own light and summer;
beyond classification.

Clare Crossman has published four collections of poetry. Her fourth is due to be published by Shoestring Press later in 2020. She has recently collaborated on a film offpoetry and conservation Waterlight about a chalk stream with the film maker James Murray White. More of her work can be seen at

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