‘Daffodils Lip Sync’: A new poem in a new book by Nick Ascroft



Daffodils Lip Sync


I wandered longwise as a crab

that floats a ‘hi’ and flaps a claw

when on the wall I spied a tap

and hosed a golden Labrador.


* *


I wandered Langley with a cold,

like drones on high that veil the ill.

Vanilla white, we spies of old

would roast a cold in Benadryl.


* *


A squalid mauve miasmic cloud,

whose frozen height in ladles spills

one awful stench that flies enshroud:

your nose is blown, it’s daffodils.


©Nick Ascroft, Back with the Human Condition, Victoria University Press, 2016

Nick Ascroft’s new collection is in four parts: Love, Money, Complaints, Death. He exhibits an enviable linguistic palette with words on the lines languid, sideways darting, playful, ever playful, wriggling and exquisitely calm. You see all that in the ‘The Tide.’ Ascroft’s poems will sound good when read aloud; the poet resisting monotone, shifting then settling in surprising places, catching love and humour. I adored ‘A Hill’  – glorious in its slow contemplation, tender detail compounding. And ‘The Sad Goose,’ a concrete poem stamping the shape of a goose on the page. This book is a treasure trove of poetry delight; one to savour slowly to get the full dance of flavour on the tongue (or in the ear).

Nick and VUP have kindly granted permission to post ‘Daffodils Lip Sync.’ I love the idea of a poem in skewed lip sync with its predecessor. I laughed out loud, mesmerised next step by the word play, and the madcap images that buffet/buff the original.

After this brief sample, I recommend you get the book and read poems in altogether different but equally satisfying keys.



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