The Tulips



    enter like a corps de ballet
    crimson and violet
    vivid as wax crayons.

    Heads held high in expectation
    they sense their moment
    is about to come.

    Arranged in a bourrée en couru
    they’re happy to conform
    until time makes rebels of them.

    Their rhythms change
    they fling impatient bodies
    their petals fade to a ballet blanc

    and fall to leave stamens exposed
    arms stripped of leotard skin
    waving in a semaphore of exaltation.

    Their dying is beautiful
    though it robs my room of colour
    and leaves it smelling of sweat.


    Rebecca Farmer was born in Birmingham but her parents came from Ireland and she grew
    up with the idea that Dublin meant ‘home’. Her debut pamphlet Not Really was a winner of
    The Poetry Business Pamphlet Prize in 2014. Rebecca was a 2016 Writer in Residence at
    Gladstone’s Library and she is currently completing a PhD at Goldsmiths on the late works
    of Louis MacNeice.