Language of Flowers

‘The Victorians used to send subtle messages in their gifts of flowers’. Joy Winkler, Cheshire Poet Laureate 2005 and former Writer-in-Residence at HMP/YOI Styal, has written a collection of poems in which she explores her personal memories attached both to the flora and fauna she knew as a child and to the inspiration that continues to grow in her life.

Joy Winkler is available for readings and/or workshops on ‘The Language of Flowers’. She will work with you to tease out some of the memories that you may have tied up in daisy chains and bouquets. She will also read some of her collection.

Following a workshop at Ellesmere Port Library one of the participants said: ‘This has completely changed the way I look at life’.

To everything there is a season

A time to be born, anointed on the fontanel
by a flutter of heart whispers, to be owned,
to be rocked in trembling arms, sung to sleep
by reclaimed lullabies, to be nurtured by
body warmth and the cadence of dialect
and home-spun rhyme. A time, a time.

A time to grow tall like meadow grasses,
Dog Daisies and corn. To ripen and glow
and to reflect the beauty of buttercups in
secret shallows, to quest under dappled
holly and Scots pine, to warn or to wish
on the fallen feather of a fickle magpie.

A time to dance with Ash keys, fly with
summer dust, trust in the brush of a kiss
from the sun. To prick the nestling’s skin
with a legacy of plumage, to sit expectantly
on the tip of a bee’s proboscis or trace
the patterning of a brimstone butterfly.

A time to thread sharps and flats into a song,
sing along with a new tune or an old tune.
To graft a shift of light onto the evening
and ride in the tissue boat that is the
early risen moon, to squeeze another
day like toothpaste onto the dawn.


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