Black Tulips

Glossy goblets
in the florist’s shop,
rare tulips,
brimming with power
and strength, constrained
like Rilke’s panther, stained
with the ink of witching hours.
Oh, for a pot of midnight flowers,
scented with soil, not a bouquet
of beauties with stems cut
and wilting in their pain,
but petals of black velvet
that bloom again
and again.

Kim M. Russell, 5th February 2020

Image result for potted black tulips"
Image found on Pinterest

My response to Poets and Storytellers United Weekly Scribblings #5: A Mouthful of Flowers, also linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

Sanaa’s back this Wednesday with the Weekly Scribblings, together with a flowery quote from Shannon L. Alder and two wonderful poems by Dylan Thomas and Claude Mckay.

She says that flowers have inspired poets, writers and artists for generations. She mentions the metaphorical language of flowers and their use as symbols. Our challenge is to write while inspired by flowers. Sanaa says we should feel free to associate them with memories, romanticize, go dark or sombre, or even press them neatly between pages.

61 thoughts on “Black Tulips

  1. My goodness this is stunning! 💝 I am in absolute awe of the images you evoke here especially; ” stained with the ink of witching hours.” Thank you so much for writing to the prompt, Kim 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “midnight flowers / Scented of soil” Such an earthy sensation, wanting to grow darkness and not have its life cut short. (Tulips are my favourite flowers and the black ones are particularly magnificent)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “the petals of black velvet…” a perfect description of the beauty of a black tulip. Not every year but once in a while a few will bloom here. They stand out and I will think of this poem the next time one happens upon us. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Black tulips are for dark moments mesmerizing.
    Bright ones are for HAPPY days, seems that’s the mood in part for this write. I’m with you, I like to see them, not plant and take care of them.
    BTW, I had an orange tulip post that you missed for December 31.
    It was a work of art, over a week old, carved by a culinary artist on our ship. And made from a carrot. But I did not write about it as I changed to a tribute write.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Black tulips, like black roses, are fascinating flora. This piece is so visceral, it tweaks all the senses. I agree that /not a bouquet of beauties with stems cut and wilting in their pain/.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How beautiful this is, Kim. Oh yes, I much prefer my flowers in the ground to bloom again and again. Those rare tulips do look like velvet don’t they. I think the message they carry is one much different than a dozen cut roses. I prefer the more non-traditional bouquets myself. Gayle ~

    Liked by 1 person

  7. years ago I saw and touched a velvet black tulip but I could never have described it like this, so masterful Kim, especially “stained with the ink of witching hours” – when I read you I am transported to a different realm.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kim,
    I like this take on flowers and the pain of those cut verses those with roots attached in soil.
    These were my favorite lines,
    “Oh, for a pot of midnight flowers,
    scented with soil, not a bouquet
    of beauties with stems cut
    and wilting in their pain,”

    Liked by 1 person

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