Tuesday 15 December 2009


Roses in the darkness
The tight buds pointed under my fingers
Slowly their petals unfold
Softness around a well of fragrance.
I bury my face and drink deep
Of that heavenly perfume
Which unlooses memories
Of the days of long ago
When I could see their infinite shades.
The pure white of virginity
So easily marred by rain.
The pinks of young girlhood
Innocent, shyly modest.
There, golden hues
Of laughing womanhood,
And the rich red fullness
Of maturity and experience.
Now as I feel those silky petals
My fingers bruise their loveliness.
Their perfume lingers as I pass by
My roses in the darkness

© Gillian Peall

I wrote this poem some years ago - it was a challenge, we were given the title, and asked to write a poem. This is what sprung out from my mind! I sent it up to a sort of Knock Out competition on the Guardian website once, but it got knocked out!

I think I was maybe a bit subtle - not everyone realised I was writing about a blind person. Actually, I was imagining a blind man, elderly, having difficulty walking, but enjoying the smell of his roses. Not sure what that says about me!

I have always dreaded going blind. Books mean so much to me. I am fortunate in that I can still see very well, especially now I have had a cataract removed. I don't know how I would react to losing my sight.

But we never know how we would react to a sudden loss of a sense, or an ability. Would we sit and moan? Get angry? Try to blame someone? Or make the best of what we had left to us? Probably a combination of them all!

Gloomy sort of blog for a gloomy sort of day! Honestly, I'm quite cheerful really, but blogging and procrastinating about getting the Christmas decorations up!


CorvusCorax12 said...

it is a lovely poem but wouldn't have guessed that it was about a blind person either. I was thinking of a Woman getting older.

Sue said...

Lovely poem Mum. We are singing about roses - or, a rose - in our Mystery Play:

A Spotless Rose

A Spotless Rose is blowing
Sprung from a tender root,
Of ancient seers’ foreshowing,
Of Jesse promised fruit;
Its fairest bud unfolds to light
Amid the cold, cold winter
And in the dark midnight.

The Rose which I am singing,
Whereof Isaiah said,
Is from its sweet root springing
In Mary, purest Maid;
For through our God’s great love and might
The blessed babe she bare us
In a cold, cold winter’s night.

It's by Herbert Howells.


Gilly said...

Thank you! That one you are singing is REALLY beautiful! Hope play goes well tonight!

theMuddledMarketPlace said...


+ loving the poem

Cloudhands said...

It isn't gloomy at all, just sort of sentimental and wistful. I thought it a lovely poem. Thanks for sharing it with us. What I fear would be to go deaf, to see and not be able to understand the significance of what I'm seeing would be very frustrating for me. I guess having seen for so long I would be able to imagine things described for me. I think it goes without saying that I hope to continue seeing and hearing.

kenju said...

That's a lovely poem, Gilly. I think it should have won or placed high!!

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I've always thought about that too, how terrible it would be if I lost my eyesight because of how much I love to read. Especially since the last few years, it's been deteriorating and the over-the-counter eyeglasses are not working anymore. I finally bit the bullet and went to the eye doctor and four hundred dollars later, I'll be picking up my new glasses very soon.

If you like roses, you should check out one of the blogs I follow, At The Farm. She has some incredible pictures of roses on there right now and she had the photos made into notecards that she's having a drawing for and giving some away to someone for free.

KathyA said...

Interesting poem, Gilly.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

What a lovely poem! I think losing any of our senses - sight, hearing, taste, etc. - would be a challenge, but we would find ways to adapt.

awareness said...

I liked your poem Gilly. What I was picturing as I read it was a woman maturing.... the colours of the roses to me represented different milestones..... red being the most elegant in my mind.

Interesting that you wrote about losing one's sight. I had a long conversation with a childhood friend the other night.....we hadn't spoken in a couple of years.... for no real reason except that our lives got messy and busy. Plus, we live far away from one another and just lost touch. It turns out, her Mom (whom I was very close to, and havent spoken to in ages either AND will rectify that over the holidays :)....) is almost blind now. I can't imagine how she's really coping with this because she was such an avid reader.