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This is a poem about a beautiful old garden cooling down after a furiously hot summer day. I am trying to evoke that wonderful twilight time, when everything is soothed and becoming calm and still - when flowers seem luminous in the dusk - and, in Scotland, when it is light for most of the night too at this time of year, there is a particular milky, almost spooky, light.

Twilight Garden

Gillian_ferguson_photo_high_resby Gillian K Ferguson02 Jul 2013

Twilight medicates
the hysterical summer garden.

Laudanum of luminous blue
doping phosphorescent souls
of dehydrated gospel flowers,

panicky silver spirits of dazzled leaves
flashing through the panting trees.

Nurses a last flutter of reluctant butterfly drunks
still gorgeously guzzling the Honeysuckle ghost.

Doctoring her crepuscular perfume –
sugary nocturnal opiates
cultured in blushed gold, nubbed cups
to siren the disturbing moth shift -
snowing unconscious on burned-bark wings
from crashed stars
they took for night’s sparkling compasses.

Tincturing until she dreams in each sweet head:
a coming whirr, wing-breath, intimate burr -
the Hummingbird Hawk Moth, hovering,
a birdish blur,
to enter his freakish long tongue,
rest his delicate, velvet-slippered feet
one shuddering moment.

Dusk’s lavender glove
soothes molten Roses’ sunstroked blood,
cooling their plump, scarlet-fever cheeks
like a powdery old aunt -
through mulberry, plum, navy-wine.

In her calming amethyst palm,
combusting Poppies are extinguished,
leaving only narcotic purple fumes -
enormous owl pupils.

By a spooky mercury kidney-pool
of anaesthetised moon-water,
Victorian Lilies, opium-stoned,
consumptively pale,
swoon to ultra-violet X-rays.

Morphine of mauve light
kills a sick Fuchsia’s spindly neurotic trembling,
gulps Red Hot Pokers
still sizzling in milky shadow
like a fire-eater.

Insane Daisies,
who have stared, defiant, all day
unblinking at the glaring Sun -
frying all over the green-flamed lawn -
tranquilised by sapphire transfusion
to a tiny, numb, violet-starry galaxy.

Sparkling hyperactive flies,
sedated by the smoking lilac gloaming,
yo-yo drowsily on titanium wings -
their exo-skeletal mourning jet,
hellish armour opalised.
With jacked up mercury eyes,
languorously waltz under paralysed trees:
intricate iridescent jewellery
set - live - in pearly air.

Until night clamps black chloroform
over evening’s yawning indigo mouth.

Psychiatrist stars
take out their silver notebooks.