The fields are yellow with dandelions – and soon they’ll be white with them, as their seedheads wait for the wind to spread them. That’s if we don’t get there first, blowing the clocks to find out what time it is. Children and poets love dandelions. So do I (even if I have spent a lot of this week digging them out of the lawn)!
Little wonder, then, that I chose poems about dandelions in both anthologies that I compiled recently. First, in the RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poems, Alison Chisholm calls her dandelion poem Ladette – “Brash gold sticks out its tongue”, while Gerard Benson’s A Green Stink describes “aggressive little suns, yellow without compromise”.
And here’s my newly written dandelion poem, inspired by a dandelion that I found growing right through the drainage hole in the base of a flower pot, left out over winter at the bottom of the garden. As you see in the photo, only the tall stem and flowerhead are visible. The leaves that appear in my poem are there by ‘poetic licence’.
Admire the doughty dandelion, groping in the dark, growing blind, determined to be seen; through prison pot it finds a hole, a skylight in the soil, from which to sprout its toothy, leafy green.
Its taproots long, however slight its stem or flower may be; it’s yellow, yes, but not the least afraid; each plant will fight for sun and air in any nook or crack; its shoots will cut through tarmac like a blade.
Each specimen, however small or spindly it may seem, will find a place to flower and spread its seed. Admire the doughty dandelion; no dungeon underground has ever stopped this plant we call a weed.