Fire, by Britta Benson

Picture credit: Britta Benson

Tanka Tuesday is all about colour this week. Here’s the link for the full prompt:

The colour I want to write about is orange. Such a wide spectrum. From carrot to tiger, from clay to honey, from marmalade to cider…

Over the past couple of weeks, the Devil’s Paintbrush flowers have reappeared, such a lovely summer plant. A weed for most. A treasured perennial for me. The flowerheads come in all shades of orange, from vibrant flame to deep, dark rust. The plant is also known as Fox and Cubs, because there is usually one larger flowerhead, with two or three smaller ones bundled up around it. With a bit of imagination, you’ll see the mummy fox and her cubs.

At dusk, the flowers close, but a little bit of the fire remains visible, just enough to make clear that the flame still burns on the inside. For me, this is a magical picture. I love looking at the Devil’s Paintbrush in the evening hours. So here’s my tanka. Accompanied by my dusk walk picture of a front garden I pass every day, a tiny spot that is littered with Devil’s Paintbrushes. What a delight.


Devil’s paintbrush dusk.

Deep rust orange flames, resting.

Bundled love flickers.

Fox and cubs together, souls,

burning out of sight till dawn.

21 thoughts on “Fire, by Britta Benson

    1. Luckily, we get to look at plants from a poet’s point of view and don’t have a farmer’s worries. It’s all a matter of perspective. I can imagine a farmer would have been far less enchanted when passing that garden full of Devil’s paintbrush.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Lol yes who knew that cake would be so iconic. 11yrs ago this month our youngest son and wife got married , our eldest son’s partner, at the time decided she’d make a rainbow cake as an extra to the official ones, it went down very well.
        It was not a “gay”wedding just a straight one but the memory, the photo and meaning of Rainbow and Pride all struck me. Hence my inspiration πŸ’œπŸ’œ

        Liked by 2 people

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