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stylised tulips by Rg Gregory
stylised tulips – this is what the card says
and they have that nineteen-twenties’ feel
of those bright young things a decade before us
who had a way of walking with their legs
bent back and their pelvis forward as if
inviting a kind of sexual depravity
with the no touch signs fervently displayed

stylised tulips – could be snakes though lurking
in the undergrowth good for a wriggle or two
tulips however keep their heads held high
disdainfully pretending the whole world
is beneath them - and what colours my dear
(or lack of colour or subtle colours
whichever the fashion aptly hissed by men)

stylised tulips – hardly the sobriquet
to be pinned on us of a different plumage
(children advancing to and not away from war)
we were the rough-and-ready class (the twerps)
the ignorance is innocence brigade
style was a cheap thing out of woolworths
(we had never heard of the pelvis anyway)

and all our lives our feet on the ground
however much we have let our noses roam
into the shenanigans our part of the world
has happily let itself be wrapped in
at heart we have never been able to accept
the lah-di-dahs of pretending what we’re not
appalled by all the effort it would take to be
stylised tulips
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