Have you ever seen a poppy?
No! - You I mean!
Have – You – Ever - Really - Seen - A Poppy?
Not one of those sissy things that get into French fields
growing in the remains of wars
on earth and dead men as if they didn’t care;
nor the yellow ‘Welsh Poppies’ that aren’t really poppies
- nor are they truly especially Welsh -
that spread anywhere in broken ground ----
but the Great Poppies
bigger than a despot’s snatching palm
red as blood and love
with a splash of crimson gaudy as a rock-star
and seeds dark as blood and murder
shouting out of the green feathery fronds into the soil
flinging purple-black seeds enough to cover the whole world
if all erupt like guns and dragon’s teeth.
These are the Real Poppies
of which riches are made.
Now take each quartered seedhead,
secretly, cunningly, melt the teeth into a pipe,
sell them to the people by ear or mouth
and all the whole world will see poppies translated
and BELIEVE in dreams of saints
and preachers and monsters and dragons
and magic and Changes and Knives
and even Tomorrow............
and – most probably –
the words of the man who takes the money.