|Photo: Brian Brake. 1957.|
Flowers Throughout the Year
When warming suns begin to melt the snow,
But yet the bitter winds if winter blow,
In sheltered nooks sternbergia's golden blooms,
Bear witness to the throbbing life below.
As more and more we see of earths's warm floor,
These small perennials eyes to beauty draw,
There whiteness of the snow is tinged with rose,
Or blue may be, from spring's vast colour store.
Now Spring is here. The hyacinth's perfume
Recalls the bear from its long winter tomb
And sends it forth to rein case in fat
A mighty carcase with an air of gloom
[Gul-i-Lala, used to grow on roofs. One of the biggest of the specie]
It's tulip time, and where lanatas glow,
Great scarlet giants, other tulips know
That they, dwarfed, must bloom and unseen fade,
Unless some gentle hand to them stoop low.
From rhizomes planted in the autumn time,
This cream white flower adores the summer clime,
Bearded and fragrant, armfuls gaily go
To market, where they fetch perhaps a dime.
Golden blooms for the golden monthd
When the visitors are here,
To fill the coffers of many a man
In the vale of fair Kashmir.
Of lilies among the rarest,
Its fragrant trumpets don't sound,
But flare as they nod, 30 inches
Or more from the ground
Beware! For if these spikes of gold you choose
To bring into the house, they may refuse,
Their guardian prickles putting up a blitz
To draw your blood and make your tongue abuse.
In Autumn draws the mountain monk
His hood about his ears to warm 'em,
And this blue monkshood shows their hue
Should he allow the cold to storm 'em.
[named after explorer William Moorcroft who visited Kashmir around 1822]
As slender as the time that's left
E'er snow is here again,
These sky blue flowers seem to say
"For winter sports remain."
Not wild, but on so many acres grown,
This blossom violent-blue is widely known.
For from its roots commercial saffron comes
And o'er the hills its sweet perfume is blown.
With pink-white, clustering blooms it greets the morn,
Although of leaves by winter's hand it's shorn,
And when its scarlet berries purplish turn
Man eats them, saving thus his store of corn.
~ Verses by "Snilloc", published in the Illustrated Weekly of India.
From the book 'Kashmir, "the playground of Asia": a handbook for visitors to the happy valley' (1943) by Sachchidananda Sinha, who later in 1946 went on to be the first President of Constituent Assembly of India.
I have added some notes in 
|Frontpiece of 'Beautiful Valleys of Kashmir' (1942), Samsar Chand Koul|
Song of Trees
Song of Trees