All the Roses

the red rose and the white
standing sentinel
on each side of the path

the red rose of passion
the white for purity
so it was told to me

with time the bud unfolds
they litter history
more stories must be told

how Alice met the mad ones
walking nervously alone
in there amongst the flowers
i pondered that for hours
the red queen and the white
would haunt my childhood nights

and then we went to York
and thought of Lancaster
and roses making war
i never saw such violence
shaking petals, thrusting thorns,
tattering the tender growing rose

and then the Tudors came
the doubled rose of white and red
its petals widely spread
holding all in thrall
with gold and iron rule
while it blossomed

a treasure, was The Rose
where actors took the stage
Shakespeare came of age
its name was at the heart
emblem of poets art
that blooms as nectar overflows

now, in the garden,
i plant my roses
i plant them for their scent
i plant them for all they mean to me
they guard my families ashes
i strip away the stories
watching as their gentle petals fall

full of passing glories
but every year repeating
shining out with soft simplicity

a sign of lasting love
given from above
that’s all a rose was ever meant to be


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