Guest Poem by Don Rodgers

A former prize-winner in the National Poetry Competition, Don Rodgers’ poems and prose have been published in a number of newspapers, magazines and anthologies, and two collections of his poetry have been published by Seren. His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and for six years he wrote a weekly column on antiques for the Western Mail. He lives and works in south Wales. This poem is from Acumen 108.


What do we make of magnolias?
Like beaks of exotic birds, their buds
break from bare branches, singing
themselves open into sculptural
pink and white waxworks of flames.

You were given a Magnolia Susan
one birthday. Not caring for our garden,
it managed one clutch of deep pink flowers
before abandoning the idea of further blooms
after an assault by a man re-doing the fence.

But it doesn’t matter much, I suppose.
Magnolias are mainly mnemonics:
whether denuded in winter, or dressed
in summer green, we tend to see them
the way we fancied they looked in the spring.