John McIntosh


On your wedding day you wanted sunflowers.
Not gentle roses – pastel, suitable – but sunflowers:
In the church and on the place cards,
On the favours and the cake,
Dazzling and exotic, they burned with livid fire,
Glowing oranges and flaring yellows,
Lurid, blazing noontimes from la France profonde,
Banishing all cold and darkness from your day.

Heliotropic as they grow, driven
By some dumb intelligence they turn
Their heads to track the sun across the sky,
Bright Jodrell Banks locked onto signals
Unimaginably faint and far away.
They stand, cold sentinels, in darkness as the
Earth sails round its black and silent sea,
And a trillion firefly stars blink on above.

All through the best man and the dancing
I was thinking – sunflowers?
Surely somewhere underneath lay symbol,
Some connection waiting to be made.
It flickered in the dark beyond my sight,
But when I turned my head it hid in light.

Well maybe. Sunflowers, when they reach full height
Grow tired of chasing down the sun all day and night.
That swinging watch, that glinting ring, no longer hypnotise.
So Jaimie count to three, and when you open up your eyes
You are a sunflower, gazing out on one far view:
Wild, rain-forested infinities,
Contained in him and you.

Copyright © John McIntosh 2017

I’m a 56 year old teacher from Glasgow who is sporadically moved to write poems. Have had a few things published on this website and in the Glad Rag, a Glasgow southside Arts magazine, and hope to do more and more of this  as retirement appears on the horizon.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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