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The Scented Heath 

 

As winter releases its icy hold

and springtime’s tale is yet to be told,

catkins explode into soft yellow pillows

appearing before the young leaves on willows;

their subtle scent timid and fleeting

shyly announcing their annual greeting.

 

Coconut-scented golden gorse

flavour the air year-round of course.

 

Rich and warm and musky-sweet, evoking summer’s glory,

creamy heads of elder-flowers tell their fragrant story.

 

Poisonous hemlock breathes out its foul breath,

exhaling a stench reminiscent of death.

 

If you handle the head of musk thistle with care

and bury your nose in its face if you dare –

the odour is spicy, exotic, intensive,

echoing perfumes extremely expensive.

 

Creeping thistle, ragwort, honeysuckle and heather,

marinating gently in warm and sunny weather,

aromas infused in a floral mixing bowl,

lifting the spirits and gladdening the soul.

 

Elegant and tall – yellow primrose of the night,

honeyed petals luminous in softly fading light.

 

The pungent scent of wily fox punctuates the air

as he goes about his business to and from his lair.

 

And autumn comes with the shortening day,

smelling of leaf-mould, damp and decay.

Crisp autumn winds begin to blow,

and perfume-makers cease to grow,

and all is cleansed by winter rain,

to start afresh in spring again.