Oh bring me not the sighing lilies

Their sweet, cloying

Perfume of death

Their pale, quiet faces

Open mouthed in grief

Give them not to me for company

Their cold, alabaster touch

Their waxy countenances

Bringing a sad beauty

A mournful picture

Their ghostly visages


Into the landscape of despair

At home on the threshold

Between here and beyond

Symbols of loneliness

Trumpets of pain

Oh bring me not the sighing lilies

I will have no need

Of their grim condolences

For while they multiply

Slowly seek to embroider

All the earth about my resting place

A profusion of satin creams

And verdant greens

I will not be there

I will not be

Cheek to marble cheek with them

Weeping for things lost

Things undone

For I will be

Beyond the cool, damp earth

In which I lie

Far beyond

The emptiness of remembrances

So bring me not the sighing lilies

Instead the hearts of roses offer

Their warm, blushing depths

Their sensual, fragrant breath

Their velvet petals

So soft a place to rest my head

Their thorny arms to protect me

To stand between me

And undesired company

Their strength and beauty

Standing sentry

To guard my resting soul

To mark the place

Oh to walk again

Through the heady, blissful

Ancient scent

Of their profuse and varied blossoms

Oh bring me not the sighing lilies

Instead the gift of roses bring

For my soul’s delight

© Ann Bagnall 2014.


4 thoughts on “Lilies

    1. Thank you so much! I wrote this after seeing lilies growing wild by the train tracks day after day, and it ended up taking me places I didn’t expect. Even to me it reads like a very old poem and I wonder how I got there from the muse!

      Liked by 1 person

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