A plague on your daffodils, Mr Wordsworth.
Granted, daffodils look very fine – harbinger of spring and such,
But they just stand about admiring themselves
or head-tossing and fluttering in a freezing gale,
and you can buy a pot in any corner shop.
The trouble with daffodils is that they turn up
at such a miserable time of the year – snow, ice, fog etc –
season of flu and fruity cold-full-ness.
As a countryman you should have written a poem about
“a crowd, a host of…dandelions”
Dandelion time is another packet of seeds;
A few sunny days in April, a shower or two,
there’s blossom on the trees, and birds singing,
And before you can say, “Taraxacum officinale”
Your garden is knee deep in dandelions.
Dandelions are tough and stubborn,
deep-rooted and hard to shift.
Pick a fight with a dandelion and you’ll lose.
Dig them up, throw them away or burn them
and next year they’re blooming, bigger than ever.
Call them all the rude names you can find:-
Cankerwort, Clock Flower, Irish Daisy, Lion’s Tooth, Milk Witch, Monk’s Head,
Piss-a-bed, Priest’s Crown, Puffball, Swine Snout-
They’ll just parachute off to your favourite flower bed.
Much better to call a truce.
You can’t eat daffodils but as for dandelions
you can use them to make delicious wine
or eat them raw in tasty salads.
They also contain a whole pharmacy of medical ingredients –
enough to cure an entire infirmary of ailments.
If you’re not sure of the time, or the state of your love life,
or wish to send a message to your friend,
or hope to have a wish come true, or are anxious
to discover the age at which you will die,
just blow on a dandelion clock.
So, dear, misguided Mr Wordsworth;
If you want a flower that’s bright and bonny,
Painted by the artist, Monet,
Then choose a plant you can rely on, Go dancing with the dandelion.