Red Tulips

Red Tulips

This 10th collection of poetry by Hugh David Loxdale covers themes like natural selection, environmental issues and the behaviour of animals and birds, especially bird song. It also includes sex, sleep, the presence (or not) of ghosts, memories of lost loved ones, the horrors of the First World War, the desire to voyage, and even the struggle to get out of bed in the morning!


Author: Hugh David Loxdale
Publisher: Brambleby Books
Year of Publication: 2017
Format and Pages: Paperback, 80pp
ISBN: 9781908241511
Retail Price: £7.99
Our Discount Price: £7.20

Sample text from Red Tulips



We are alive…both you and I!

We share the commonality of life,

Ere we die,

The chance to dance, skip, laugh and sing,

To stand in tall grass fields when the quail take wing,

To stand and watch the setting sun,

Full red-ripe, two of us, not just one.

Watch the brown trout in crystal streams,

To cast a line or wish our dreams,

Hold hands and tell stories

Till the hour is late,

By crackling flames, our hopes we state.

Enquire with neighbours of their delicate health,

Of their daughter’s ambitions and their son’s wealth.

And cast down earphones, iPods and all,

So that we can stand in tall grass, so tall,

And speculate why butterflies skim and weave…as they do,

And whether life is sweet, real, perfect…

And indeed, is true.



A remembrance of high summer’s

Most glorious days,

The dried spikes in linen sachets

Under pillow and in draw,

Now a relict where once myriad

Bumblebees and butterflies flew

And danced away the sunlit hours,

To them, a happy pastime,

A pleasure, not a law,

Except that the plant

Their services needs,

To pollinate its pale purple blooms

With all their powers

And, later, set its shiny brown seeds



Red Tulips


Red, they explode outward in bold array,

A riot of colour, a revolution, some might say,

They exude energy sucked from the once cold clay,

A dynamic still life, a contradiction, in some sort of way,

They breathe fire, like dragons, that needs must we slay,

Then droop, lose faith, and sad fade away…


But they had their hour of glory, of still fame,

Longer in fact, shone that gorgeous flame,

Of spring’s promise, an essence that no one can tame,

Dragon slayers or fire-eaters, or as you may name,

They have their mission; they know their game,

One to inspire…and hence, show no shame…


A flower, true, yet much more than this,

Tulip, symbol of Lowlands and mad crisis,

Wild bloom of distant lands, seas of calm bliss,

Growing from high mountains to sunlit abyss,

A lily, so strange, ensnares the rainbow, and is…

The gesture of romance, that most tender kiss.


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Reviews and readers' comments

‘Fully imagined and precisely rendered storytelling about creatures (including humans) in the natural world can lead readers to the once commonplace but now rarer pleasures of inhabiting what we can call “the ecological imagination”, a sense that we are irrevocably wedded to “natural” processes, that we are participants in a system of energies that we call “sacred” because we are part of it, where we feel whole and intuit that we are part of holiness’, writes American poet William Kittredge. This description of “the ecological imagination” graphically fits the poetry of Hugh Loxdale, entomologist and acute observer of the natural world. Ranging over a wide terrain of ‘creatures (including humans) in the natural world ‘ (butterflies, daisies, dinosaurs, a beached whale, spiders, a pygmy shrew, skylarks, squirrels, robins, ducks, blackbirds, swifts, wasps) his poems are set in several countries – rural Britain, Bavaria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia. They deal with subjects as varied as landscapes, dreams, music, and relationships; in the poet’s own words, he is inspired by ‘visions of nature – the sea, the sky, the landscape, but also by other influences … including love, that ever-indefinable force’.  Moving between nature history and memory, and affirming the splendours of our ecosphere at a time of global ecological crisis, these poems are a moving celebration of human and non-human life. -

Gail Fincham, Emeritus Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, University of Cape Town, South Africa


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