A concertina book on handmade recycled paper, Fire Lilies consists of etchings I made of these vibrant South African lilies.  I wrote a poem about them and the book is really about that poem titled “April Fool”.

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(Click on each thumbnail to see an enlargement)

April Fool

You arrived in early autumn.

Little bloodied fists

pounding through the

hard, burnt earth.

thrust skywards on

your gaudy spotted peduncle

and gently opened your fleshy swollen spathes

to reveal a glittering mass (well about two hundred)

of miniature flowers

Just a sort of lily really.

Such a shock to stumble upon you

amongst the grey fynbos;

an explosion of glossy vermillion

And that stalk!

apple green

with out-of-the-tube alizarin spots

splattered quite viciously,


in a leopard-like way.

I just stopped dead.

I wanted to pick you

and take you home

but did the right thing

and reached for my camera instead.



© Colleen Ross - Fine Artist - Cape Town - South Africa