Thursday, 10 April 2014


I am behind and feeling like Alice running after the White Rabbit with the stopwatch.' Not enough time. I'm late.'

'Select a name from one of your newspaper articles, famous or not. Compose a poem using only words that can be made from the letters in that person’s name. For example, if you selected “John Travolta,” you may only use words that can be made from the letters A, J, H, L, N, O, R, T and V.The use of web-based tools is highly encouraged to help uncover different words that can be made from your letters of choice. One tool you might consider is the Scrabble Word Finder.'
In the newspaper that day was news of the sudden death of 25 yr old Peaches Geldof. Last week our neighbours cut down a magnificent pink Magnolia. I'd been wanting to write an ode to the tree. I tried to do the exercise but the tree and Peaches' tragic early death kept merging. So, I cheated again, and wrote the poem calling me.

‘Me and my Mum,’she wrote beneath the photo.

Magnolia campbellii has astonishing goblet flowers.

Faces close, their blond pony-tails centre-headed

Icons of spring and summer.

Peaches lost Paula when she was 11 years old

The Magnolia tree next door was 25 years old

when the neighbours axed her down.

‘From a family often fractured but never broken’

Magnolia grandiflora flowers before leaves emerge.

‘She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest.

The enchanted tree was not sick

Her death was sudden and unexplained.

No group of trees is so highly appreciated.

169,000 fans followed her every tweet.

Magnolias in the wild are pollinated by primitive wingless beetles.

Her second name was honeyblossom.Birds sang in her boughs.

The flower buds of Magnolia salicifolia are used to treat headaches, allergies, Parkinsons, and cancer.

We loved her and will cherish her forever.

She left two small children, a husband and father

She left us the neighbours.

‘Writing ‘was’ destroys me afresh.’

We are beyond pain.

Janet Daniel, April 11 2014. The Guardian, 8 April.
Bob Geldof’s tribute to his daughter.

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