100 yrs school mag

world poetry day


Lemon tree, bumble-bee, lavender, sage
a pair of brown hunting dogs led by a page;
sunshine and winter fields covered in snow
these are the pictures my needle will show.

Turquoise and amethyst, bright emerald green
quilting a carriage cloth fit for a queen.

Filigree, fleur-de-lis, deep royal blue
doves in the dove-cote and fire in the flue
powdered wig, dance a jig, minstrels will bow
out in her play-farm the queen milks a cow.

Turquoise and amethyst, bright emerald green
quilting a carriage cloth fit for a queen.

Peacocks, white stallions, shy deer at the stream
pale silk like cobwebs embroiders my dream.
Pricking my finger in haste as I lean
close to the rush-light and sew the fine seam

red blood drops freely across my fine art
even my needle has changed to a dart.
Out in the square, see the tri-colour wave
these steady stitches shall keep my heart brave.

Turquoise and amethyst, bright emerald green
stitching a carriage cloth fit for a queen.

Wheels over cobblestones, hear the crowd cheer
blades, fine as diamonds, her neck will soon wear
peer through the window, the black-hoods are seen
raising a guillotine fit for a queen.

© Julie Thorndyke

school mag covers

I was fortunate to have this poem published in The School Magazine, Touchdown, October 2012. It was a great thrill to be published in a magazine I had read as a child, and in which so many wonderful writers have been represented.

The first draft of the Fleur-de-lis was written all in a rush one Easter. My family and I were at the beach for the weekend. It was a happy family time, but during all the walking, swimming and eating, there was a rhythm and a single line of poetry going around in my head: “quilting a carriage cloth fit for a queen”. This line became a repetitive element holding the poem together. The words evolved, fused with images of bright jewel colours and rich tapestry work. In a sort of poetic trance, I found a quiet moment and managed to scribble the lines down.

I was studying in the Master of Creative Writing program at The University of Sydney that year. I used this poem as part of my poetry portfolio, and read it at the end of year soirée. The rhythm and rhyme make it a good piece to present to an audience.

I hope the poem Fleur-de-lis will stir your senses and conjure up vivid images in your imagination.

Happy World Poetry Day! And congratulations The School Magazine on one hundred wonderful years.


100 yrs school mag

2 thoughts on “Fleur-de-lis

  1. Pingback: A hundred years of The School Magazine | Me fail? I fly!

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