States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Tulips in Black and White’ by Carolyn Abbs

Sadness overwhelms me in this circle of cut
flowers; some face me, plead for help, but if

I were to cradle one tulip-heavy head in my palm
like a premature baby, would its petals (that remind

me of my mother's skin when she was old) fall
to the floor? Others turn away in a dried blush

of shame. Just a few plump bodies flaunt sheen
on velvet cloaks, yet stems stoop weary.

They wait in colour-obliterated twilight.
Forgotten.

 

Carolyn Abbs

'Tulips in Black & White' (an earlier version) was published in Black & White Photography, Issue 72, 2007.

Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs grew up in the south of England, and now lives in Fremantle, Western Australia. She has published poems in journals and anthologies such as Westerly, Cordite, Rabbit, Writ Poetry Review, The Best Australian Poems 2014, and in Axon: Creative Explorations (issue 9), a series of ten poems, with photography by her sister, Elizabeth Roberts. Her PhD is from Murdoch University, where she taught in the School of Arts (English) for a number of years. She has published an academic book Virginia Woolf: a mosaic of nonverbal arts (2010). Carolyn is currently working towards a first collection of poetry.

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