Overblown Rose

A glassmaker, breathing down a long, metal rod,
blowing a bud to a bulb which grows,
told what it’s meant to be, how it’s meant to look.

Cold, outside air hits; the shoot splits;
little notions spitting out from the stem
crystallise to thorns.

And the green glass and amber heat syphon down
and erupt to red, flower into fiery petals,
delicate anger.

But still, the glassmaker blows, urgently,
so the rose is freezing, clenching all its stop-gaps.
Yet it’s not enough, and it happens without warning:

white, mistletoe noise and needled splinters;
ocular migraine of lethal glitter playing in the air;
ash of a plight to survive.

The glassmaker huffs, puffs,
blames the rose for its frigid fragility,
as if it could ever have held on with so much pressure.



Holly is a mature student currently studying at the University of Leeds. Holly’s poems have been published since January 2021 by Fragmented Voices, Porridge, Anti-Heroin Chic, Runcible Spoon, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis and more, as well as appearing in anthologies. She is currently working on her debut collection.