yet another without a title. Ho hum.
Londoners, voting for a county flower, picked:
What crap. Let the bumpkin counties have
the nightingale, the bluebell and the mincing faun.
We should celebrate ragwort,
sodium yellow and full of hybrid vigour;
or rosebay willowherb, with its taste for ash,
which grew in clouds of pink across the gaps left by the Blitz.
Or how about the London plane, whose leathery leaves
and flaking bark have let it thrive in smoky air
to add some grandeur to our parks and squares
(and, for centuries of schoolchildren,
the seeds are itching powder).
But my choice is the immigrant buddleia,
which throws out gaudy flower spikes in any space it can