garden notes, poetry, stray thoughts
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The tight buds on my Wildeve rose opened while I was away over the weekend. You can just make out the black spot too, though it’s described as a very robust and healthy rose. It reminds me of a painting by Francisco de Zurbarán which I sometimes used to visit on my way home from work. Those were the years when I walked across Trafalgar Square twice a day. Later, when I no longer made that exact journey, I wrote a poem about the painting. I loved it for its simplicity and mystery. Light and dark. Delicacy and practicality: the rose and the cup.

Zurbarán’s rose, if you picked it up, would lose its petals, and in today’s drizzle the petals have dropped from my rose onto the brilliant green of the rain-wet grass.

Notebook & de Zurburan

A Cup of Water and a Rose on a Silver Plate

how the streaming light is frozen
gracing the blown petals of the dusky rose
and illuminating the rim of the plate

and the dark so deep, the water
pure as the Virgin –
and no matter how many times

he wakes upon this earth
it will never be enough.



  1. I like A Cup of Water and a Rose as the name of a painting. I also like that you visited a painting on your way home from work, appreciating a painting as a day-to-day activity, like brushing one’s teeth. Lovely.

    • Ha, yes, but not quite as often as I brushed my teeth! But really, who could walk past the National Gallery & the National Portrait Gallery every day & not drop in from time to time? And the title, I’ve always wondered if it was named afterwards, for what it is, or named by de Zurburan…but you’re right, it’s such a lovely phrase.

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