Days grow longer and hotter.
Buds burst upwards in an orgy
of sun worshipping colour.
robin’s egg to midnight,
some with dainty white trim like
gingerbread on the eaves,
and one the colour of chocolate and milky coffee.
Drunk with warm, summer rain,
they gargle bees in their throats and
stagger beneath the weight of their own beauty.
They lean on each other and fall spillikins.
Too late I tie them to their canes
Dry now, their seasonal duty done,
seeds ripen into death rattles
and spill across the pale golden bones,
hollow and brittle.
I collect the remains, inter them
in the compost pile, and wait.
Next spring, when the delphiniums
are born again, I will lay the essence
of their predecessors at their feet.