“Greenwitch” by Sarah Wallis


Go deadhead the roses, amongst

the blooms in their prize winning ground,

so abundant, so now, so three times a season wow,

and proud of your green fingered magic, the antique

roses, creaking their way through the season,

grandmothers dressed in their finest white blush,

hiding yellow teeth and recalling their teens, check tut

the hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras

for their try too hard, grow too fast - dance and drop,

dance and drop, oh it’s exhausting to watch,

what you want is a grounded star that will last out

the track of time, raise with the sun’s arc,

see this day through and tomorrow, tomorrow

and tomorrow... but you, still you chop this way

and that, play the piano so reckless, so loud, test

the water, blow iridescent bubbles through a bright

yellow wand, stroll by the fruit stall miming,

‘How much?’ and see how the peach is like a planet

now, or newborn, held aloft in sunlight this day, one

gold blush, imprecise and fuzzy with possibility...

I made this from a piece of the sky, the star tent,

broke off a rainbow, while crunching upstairs

a mood of thunder, where an angel is shrugging

her shoulders, after the French fashion, je suis desole,

ah the shrug and the... what can you do but remember...

juicing slow warmth,

a peach come spilling sunshine like the slow kissed

cleft of a woman, who joys in her body’s response, for love,

for love, she opens the wet silk road to the moment...

splayed to the stone, the kernel, meeting at the rock,

and touch, and exploding to stardust, every second...

These gardener’s hands lifted the sky once, a dark star

brooding aloft and waiting for morning to fall, always.

Perhaps, you could start falling, again?

Turn the world in your hands on a whim, re-imagine,

re-trace, at every sphere and snow globe you see,

imagine the snowfall, falling through the knot of time,

and remember, recall and re-live, tend the roses,

dead-heading towards the new life that will dance here.


Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright based in Scotland, UK. Recent work is @selcouthstation @trampset @CPQuarterly and The Alchemy Spoon. Her chapbook, Medusa Retold, a long form narrative poem told from Medusa’s point of view, is available from @fly_press and she tweets @wordweave.