Category Archives: Flowers

The Language of Flowers

Flowers’ Meanings

Acorn – immortality
Acynthus – artistic
Aloe – grief
Ambrosia – love returned
Amethyst – admiration
Angelica – inspiration
Angrec – finer arts
Apple – temptation
Ash Tree – grandeur
Asphodel – my regrets follow you to the grave
Basil – hatred
Bay Rose – beware
Bay Wreath – record of merit
Begonia – dark thoughts
Belladonna – silence
Black Bryony – be my support
Bluebell – humility
Broken Straw – a broken contract
Burnet – merry heart
Butterfly Weeds – let me go
Cammomile – energy in adversity
Carnation, red – alas for my poor heart
Candytuft – indifference
Carnation, striped – refusal
Cedar Leaf – I live for thee
Celandine – joys to come
Centauria – felicity
Cherry Blossom – good education
Clematis – mental beauty
Cobea – gossip
Convolvulus – a bond
Cornflower – refinement
Cornpoppy – consolation
Crocus, saffron – mirth
Crocus, spring -youthful gladness
Cudwed – never ceasing remembrance
Daisy, marguerite – a token
Daisy, mountain – innocence
Daisy, wylde – I share your feelings
Eglantine – poetry
Eidelweiss – noble courage
Feverfew – protection
Fig – argument
Four Leaf Clover – be mine
Forget-Me-Not – true love
Forsythia – anticipation
Fresia – trust
Furze – enduring affection
Garlic – strength
Gentle balm – pleasantry
Guelder Rose – old age
Helenium – tears
Hollyshock – ambition
Honey Flower – love sweet & secret
Imperial Lily – majesty
Indian Cress – warlike trophy
Ipomaca – I attach myself to you
Iris – eloquence
Judas Tree – betrayal
Justicia – perfection of female beauty
Laurel – ambition
Lilac, white – youthful innocence
Lily-of-the Valley – return of happiness
Linnea – I wish we were together
Locust Tree – affection beyond the grave
Magnolia – love of nature
Meadow Saffron – grown old
Monkshood – Beware a deadly foe is near
Michaelmas Daisy – farewell
Milkwort – hermitage
Mint – virtue
Myrtle – disciline
Oleander – Take caution
Orange Blossoms – bridal festivities
Orchis – a belle
Pansy – a thought
Pea – an appointed meeting
Peach Blossom – I am your captive
Poppy – eternal sleep
Purple Columbine – resolve to win
Purple Lilac – first emotions of love
Red Catchfly – youthful love
Rose, black – death
Rose, blue – mystery
Rose, light-pink – sympathy
Rose, red – love
Rose, silver – sonnetry
Rue – disdain
Stephanotis – desire to travel
Sweet Basil – good wishes
Syringa – memory
Thistle – austerity
Thyme – activity
Tulip, red – declaration of love
Tulip, variegated – beautiful eyes
Tulip, yellow – hopelessness
Veronica – fidelity
Violets, blue – faithfulness
Weeping Willow – grief
Windflower Anemone – foresaken
Wylde Tansy – I declare war against you
Zephyr Flowers – expectation


National Flowers

Bangladesh – White Water Lily
Sicily- Carnation
Cyprus – Rose
Denmark – Marguerite Daisy
Egypt – Egyptian Lotus
England – Rose
Estonia – Cornflower
Finland – Lily-of-the-Valley
France – Iris
Germany – Centauria
Greece – Bear’s Breech
Holland – Tulip
India – Banyan Tree
Indonesia – Pink Moth Orchid
Italy – Poppy
Latvia – Wilde daisy
Lithania – Rue
Maldives – Rose
Norway – Purple Heather
Poland – Cornpoppy
Portugal – Lavender
Russia – Cammomile
Scotland – Thistle
Sri Lanka – Nil Manel
Sweden – Linnea
Thailand – Rachapruek

LOF 1: The Cats of Calcata

Being an account of two cats of Calcata who communicate upon a romantic level by using the secret Language of the Flowers. Upon falling in love as kittens, then getting married, their tranquility is disturbed by the arrival of a young, handsome tom from the nearby town of Falaria. The Wife becomes completely enamored of him, begins an affair & seeks a divorce. Her husband challengers the tom to a duel, but is left second bested & bleeding. His wife sees this & realizes her true love for her husband – but it is too late, for in a fit of jealousy the husband murders her. He instantly shows the greatest remorse, burying his wife at the spot where she died…

Lazing through days of Italy,
O life of lovely hours!
The soft wine & festivity,
The sunshine & tranquility,
Where Street Cats speak, eloquently,
The Language of the Flowers.

There is a place where you must go
To hear the street-cat patter,
Where sweet Rondini swoop & show,
The river glistens far below
A maze of streets, then you will know
The magic of Calcata.

Upon a soft & starry night
Two kittens kiss’d all hazy
& pluck’d two Lilacs flushing bright,
Purple for her, for him pure White,
Love blossoming from first sweet sight
Fresh as a Mountain Daisy.

Young lovers grew, through every scene
The cute Red Catchfly carried –
Where Spring Crocuses grow serene
& Orange Blossoms speckle green,
Amidst the gentle Celandine
They were forever married!

Their home a mountain theatre
Sunshine rising to mild purrs –
Each day they found Veronica,
Blue Violets & Ambrosia
For to bind them all together
On a bed of felted Furze.

Then from Falaria there came
The cat with eyes a-dapple,
& in her heart the strangest flame
Burning so brightly, to her shame,
With Amethyst he won her name
& left for her an Apple.

They dallied by the old river
Where grow the Four-Leaf Clovers,
He plucked the wylde Justicia
& with Peach Blossom gave to her,
Beside brightest Honey Flower
Became they tender lovers.

The husband woke that cloudy night,
Went out all wrack’d with worry,
Grew frantic thro’ the gloomy light
Til shone the moon full beaming bright,
No man should suffer such a sight
Underneath the Judas Tree.

Biting a fig between his teeth,
Clutching a Red Carnation,
He gave to her the Cedar Leaf,
But she, to his own disbelief,
Wrapt Butterfly Weeds in a wreath
& bid for separation.

The husband’s wounded heart wants war,
Throws down the cruel Wylde Tansy –
The piazza, as was the law,
Saw scratch & screech & bite & claw,
As lost he left, limping by paw,
From heaven fell a Pansy.

To see her first love lose the fray,
By an arrow her heart shot!
She found a fresh straw from the hay,
A dozen Red Tulips at play,
Wove them into a lush bouquet
With a fresh Forget-Me-Not.

Pressing Basil into a wound,
Chewing fresh Begonia,
He stood up with a hissing sound,
Sore paws the pretty rooftops pound,
Upon a wall his sweetheart found
& push’d her to the murder!

Distraught he dash’d to where she fell
& wept for the tragedy,
Kiss’d & buried her spirit’s shell,
Cloaked her with Cudweed, as tears swell
He placed a little Asphodel
‘Neath the sea-green Locust Tree.

So if you ever take the care
To visit fair Calcata
Go to the walls the street cats share
& pause a while to look down there
Where you should see, come really stare,
The grave Red Roses flatter.

LOF 2: The Falcon Princess

Being an account of a contest, wherein the princes of five contrees attempt to win the affections of the princess of the king of Sicily’s falcons. The tournament is held upon Monte Falcano that towers ovet the island of Marretimo & one-by-one they are whittled down, first thro’ their personality, then speed, then ability to hunt game. Finally, the princes of Portugal & Cyprus duel, wherein the Portuguese falcon is triumphant, wins the princess & plants his national flower on the island for posterity.

There is an island you should know
Of sun & sea & showers
Call’d marvelous Marettimo
Where Homer mused so long ago
& all god’s creatures grew to know
The Language of the Flowers

Upon this island lives a king,
Lord of Sicily’s Falcons,
The Guelder Roses grow each spring
About his Ash Tree, in a ring,
But still the Eagles fear his wing
From Scotland to the Balkans.

More beautiful than true Orchis
Grew his beloved daughter;
When she had pluck’d
He sent forth mountain messengers
To the royal Falcon princes
Inviting them to court her.

A handsome prince flew to propose
Bearing tri-petal’d
Then came on others, one with Rose,
One clutch’d Lavender in his claws,
One brought Bear’s Breech in spiky pose,
The last: Egyptian Lotus!

Each kiss’d the princess with soft peck
& shower’d admiration;
One gave her Mint, one gave Angrec,
One Cherry Blossom, one Garlic,
But to the one with Hollyshock
She toss’d a Striped Carnation.

The king announced a tournament
Amid the mountain bowers;
The goats broke up their government
Assinos braved the steep ascent
While local seagulls squawk’d consent
& scatter’d Zephyr Flowers.

The crowds had gather’d on a slope,
Oer the sea that swam to space,
The Princes hover’d at the rope
The King took out a telescope
Salvaged from some ship shorn of hope
Then settled to watch the race

Four Falcons flew down lightning fast
From clouds to the low sea-mist,
Touching the lone fuggazi mast
Then Imperial Lily pass’d,
The princess cheer’d, gave to the last
The colourful Amethyst.

Three Princes hunted thro the day,
Down they swoop’d on ev’ry kill,
Each filling up a silver tray,
Then when the sun shed last red ray
The princess on the least did spray
The blossom of Sweet Basil.

The King announced twas time to dine,
The day’s hunt put in a pile,
Wash’d down with wash’d up Tuscan wine,
The finalists both found a sign,
One pluck’d the Purple Columbine
& his rival, Cammomile.

Two Falcons face the final fray
From Portugal & Cyprus;
The evening gloom consumes the day
Up to the moon assinos bray,
The Princess keeps the cold at bay
Wrapp’d with warm Indian Cress.

Thro’ Belladonna-scented sky
Princes fought with wing & peck,
Their talons lock, they fall from high,
One hits the water with shock’d cry,
Returns, receiving, with a sigh,
The Bay Wreath around his neck.

The Prince of Portugal had won
His princess’s Carnation,
As is the law of high falcon
The King embraced his future son
Whose flower planted with talon
To join the vegetation.

So if you ever take the time
To view Monte Falcano,
& venture on its verdant climb,
‘Tween sea & Sicily sublime,
More fragrant than a poet’s rhyme
Does the lush Lavender grow.

LOF 3: The Castle of Tranquebar

Being an account of a the great Tsu-na-mi that shook the south-eastern portions of the globe at the start of the twenty-first century. The scene is the old Danish colony of Tranquebar, in the land of the Indian Tamils, in which place a castle is used as protection against those infernal waves. The leading protaganist of the tale is a brightly intelligent parrot who leads the animals of the locality to safety.

If you should ever deck a mast
& tack for the eastern star,
There is a place to take repast,
Besides the ocean’s vista vast,
Stood tough enough for any blast,
The Castle of Tranquebar.

Our story starts not long ago,
The Ocean growning angry,
& conjuring a global show,
She struck the land a mortal blow,
Being the wave we all now know
O terrible Tsu-Na-Mi!

That mighty rush, ten meters tall,
Struck in the early morning,
The lush Thai beaches first to fall,
Where whales watch’d on with dire appall,
& join’d their chorus in a call
To give the world their warning.

The music of that newsy throng
More beautiful than Handel;
For many leagues it flew along,
Few understood its ancient tongue,
But one seabird had heard their song
Sung by the Coromandel.

She was a parrot, blue & green,
There was no parrot smarter;
A hundred summers had she seen,
& knew this day could only mean
Waves furious, for she had been
A witness at Sumatra.

She knew of misty tidal wave
& old Poseidon’s powers,
So flew to land so she could save
Her fellow creatures from the grave,
Her only tool that voice God gave,
‘The Language of the Flowers.’

The parrot pluck’d from out the ground
Lush Monkshood & Bay Roses,
As Oleander then was found
He spread its petals wide around,
As closer drew the awful sound
Of thunder as it closes.

All in a jungle’s clattering
The animals did scatter,
The monkey’s gan their chattering,
Thepilets pitter-pattering,
As sun-idylls were shattering
Whatever was the matter?

From greening glades to village street
Th’unpanicking parrot flew,
Cool-headed, truly, in the heat,
Trailing Forsythia from feet,
He made his warning-call complete
With feather-white Feverfew.

As animals form Noahan crowd
The elephants huff’d & puff’d,
The cattle battl’d on unbow’d,
With cats & dogs & donkeys loud,
But peacocks acted very proud,
Bedding down in Candytuft.

Our hero reach’d that grand fortress
Beside Thangarambadi,
All pass’d beneath the portcullis
Into the courtyard’s thick-sloped bliss,
& wonder’d what this trouble is
Affecting everybody.

A blast! An earthquake’s aftershock,
As shorewards Tsunami rips,
It lifting tough ships onto rocks,
Freezing forever human clocks,
Blew murdering thro’ proud peacocks
Hid in the Yellow Tulips.

As round the walls an ocean flows,
All the beast dared not to breathe,
As waters fall where waters rose,
Aft’ rounds of spontaneous applause,
Daffodils, Eidelweiss & Furze
Woven neatly to a wreath.

Those flowers tied to parrot’s wing
Happy gratitude flew far,
If life to Tamil coasts ye bring,
Listen to how the monkeys sing,
Of sweet deliverance, praising
The Castle of Tranquebar.

LOF 4: The Lost Kitten

Being an account of the birth of a kitten in Calcata & her accidental journey to the city of Rome, whereupon she is discovered by a local street cat who decides to help her return home. After plucking flowers from a local park in order to communicate they visit the city’s chief cat, the emperor, at his seat on the collosseum, who gives them a meeting with a wise old feline at Forte Prenistina. The old ginger worked out the locality of the kitten by her odour, that is the land of hazelnuts, upon which the street cat carries the kitten through many an adventure to the town of Falaria, where they part. The kitten then makes her own way to a joyous re-union with her parents in Calcata.

Once more, my friends, follow our rhyme
To the green hills north of Rome,
For Calcata, set so sublime
Midst nature & her ancyent chime,
Where people live life’s playful time,
& the Street Cats share their home.

There was a Cat with snow white fur,
Her ears all pink & fluffy,
Wooing the tom which fell for her,
Whose lion mane & Roman burr
Arose passions & thoughts that stir –
They had a little baby.

She grew into a lovely one,
Calm as a river cruising,
They showed her off to everyone,
Around her neck wrapped pink ribbon,
& on ev’ry bonnie action,
They call’d her so amusing.

To Calcata there came a clown.
The sun was up & shining.
Our little Kitten yawn’d a frown
& found a spot to snuggle down…
The truck set off & all the town
Could hear her mother whining.

She woke up to the roar of cars,
A jolt & she went flying.
Into a land of neon bars.
Where city streetlights shine like stars –
A scruffy Tomcat with rough scars
Attends her timid crying.

He finds her lying in the dark,
Soft purring as she cowers;
The Tom becomes her patriarch
& leads her to a handsome park,
Where all beasts speak, from bleat to bark,
The Language of the Flowers.

The Kitten mewed so helplessly,
Pawing an Ipomaca,
With Windflower Anemone,
She bites a sprig of Bryony,
The Tom banished her misery
With leaf-knoted Fresia.

As oasis they found so calm,
The day was slowly dawning,
In pretty ruins free from harm
Grew Cobea & Gentle Balm,
They found good shade beneath a palm
& dozed right through the morning.

Hind legs rose with the mid-day heat
& plunged into the city.
From street to roof, from roof to street.
That grey, fat, one-eyed cat to meet,
Sat in his Coliseum seat –
Who thought & then pawed a Pea.

Emperor hissed & they were gone
To Forte Prenistina,
By Milkwort & Meadow Saffron,
Wise Ginger sniffed the silk ribbon,
Gave them a Hazelnut & one
Bay Rose to warn for danger.

The Tom leapt on a clanking train
Clutching the Kitten tightly,
To thunder through the fair champaign,
Until the tall, town-topped mountain,
There hit the road, where once again
The starlight shone so brightly.

They dally thro’ a fragrant night,
Perfumed with Convolvulus,
A restaurant slides into sight,
Aroma whets the appetite,
They search the bins, a meaty bite
Tasting of Saffron Crocus.

Morning covers Falaria,
The weather light & lazy –
By Hazelnut & gatherer,
He purr’d goodbye & gave to her
The Garlic plant in full flower
& Michaelmas the Daisy.

Sad Cat mourns by the old river
Beneath a weeping Willow;
Her lover leaps from Calcata,
Clutching their beautiful daughter,
Happiness beams from a mother,
Whose heart her Kitten’s pillow!

LOF 5: The Asian Wreath

Being an account of the death of the King of the Falcons, consumed with grief upon hearing of the Asian Tsunami. His heir, the Falcon Prince, gathers a number of flowers & sets off for Asia, where in exchange for his own flowers he obtains the national flowers of several countries. He then returns to Sicily & wraps the dead king in the wreath, before dropping the body into the flames of Mount Aetna.

There is a tayle that I must tell,
Tho’ men be disbelieving,
Of when the King of Falcons fell
Into the flamey fields of hell
& in that moment broke a spell
Of misery & grieving.

My tayle begins beneath the sea,
Angry has grown Poseidon,
For poisonous Humanity
Pollutes his kingdom carelessly,
& so he sends the Tsu-Na-Mi
At canters ‘cross the ocean.

The news brought to Marettimo
& a king sick with disease;
At such sad tidings wept him so,
This news was such a mortal blow,
Once mighty breath began to slow,
Giving out a dying wheeze.

As is the way of ancyent laws
The crown prince of the Falcons
Took up six flowers in his claws,
Transports them to the tragic cause
Of all his weepings & his woes,
Flew far beyond the Balkans.

He drove above the dusty lands
Where God’s flowers rarely grow,
Ranging beyond those desert sands
That change to Ocean’s rippling bands,
Saw clusterings of small islands
In the waters far below.

Mid Maldive pearls, where palm trees grew
To the monkey’s chattering,
Dropt was the beautiful Aloe
Of yellow hue & herbal dew,
In recompense the Falcon drew
A Rose to tie to his wing.

Sri Lanka loom’d, our Falcon fell
For the mountain-scented tea,
Where lions charm’d him with a spell
Of sunny-centred Nil Manel,
He swapp’d one for an Asphodel
Afore soaring ocean free.

He flew the length of India
Where the weird wild banyon grows,
There met the Peacock Emperor
Whom, after tea, flew together,
Our Falcon pluck’d a tail-feather
& won him a Light-Pink Rose.

To Bangladesh he next did come
& the Gangeatic mouth,
Near tygers hid from hunter’s drum
White Water Lilies, quite a sum,
The Falcon dropp’d Helenium,
Pluck’d Sepal & reer’d on south.

He came to Thailand’s golden sand
Where the Rachapruek grows,
Whose pendulous racemes act grand,
For on them elephants won’t stand
But brave are falcons &, as plann’d,
Barter’d was a wild Black Rose.

He flew at last to Borneo
With a Poppy in his claws,
Where Moth Orchids quite pinkly grow,
Guarded by Dragons Komodo,
But opiates all Beasts do slow,
Soon the jungle shook with snores.

The Prince he pluck’d an Orchid free,
His wreath was wound completed;
So on he flew high westerly
Across the sea to Sicily,
Where on an ancient chestnut tree
A thousand falcons seated.

They flew in funerary lines,
Up to Aetna’s steaming rim,
At sunset when the psyche shines
The king dropt in these molten mines,
Wrapt in a wreath, Prince screech’d oer pines
Til that sad, sore day grew dim.

So, if you visit Sicily,
See where Mount Aetna towers,
Think of great Asia’s Tsu-Na-Mi
& how her emblems came to be
Bound in a wreath of poignancy,
For Falcons speak with Flowers.