Hélène Demetriades: a poem



The last garden centre

The gardener of Aleppo greens a rubbled city.

Planting hazelnut, pear and rosemary

he hears Beethoven in the barrel bombs.


The essence of the world is a flower, he says.

Young women and freedom fighters

drop in to buy cut blooms.


Feeding his rose bushes,

pruning the loquat tree,

he is blown up meticulously.



Hélène is a practising psychotherapist and poet living in South Devon. She is joint winner of the Hedgehog Press Full Fat Poetry Collection competition 2020, and will have her debut collection The Plumb Line published in 2022. Her poetry can be found in numerous magazines and webzines. She was highly commended by Patience Agbabi in Marsden The Poetry Village Competition 2019.