The Flying Spring Onion

The Flying Spring Onion

The flying spring onion
flew through the air
over to where
the tomatoes grew in rows
and he said to those
seed-filled creatures
My rooted days are done,
so while you sit here
sucking sun
I’ll be away and gone
to Greenland
where they eat no green
and I won’t be seen
in a salad bowl with you,
stung by lemon,
greased by oil,
and nothing at all to do
except wait to be eaten
With that he twirled
his green propellers
and rose above the rows
of red balls
who stared as he grew small
and disappeared.

from Up on the Roof: New and Selected Poems (Faber & Faber, 2001), © Matthew Sweeney, 2001, used by permission of the author and publisher.

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1The Flying Spring Onion

2Cows on the Beach

3Cecil the Spider

4Fishbones Dreaming

5Lucy's Gosling

6James' Mum

7Johnjoe's Snowman

8Blue Hair

9The Red House


11My Dear Mungo

12Night Boy

13All the Dogs

14Me and Benjy

15After Dinner

16Up on the Roof

17Dog in Space

18The Money Tree

19Worrying Days

20Flat Bird

21Ghost Story


23A Boy


25Off School

26The New Boy

27Only the Wall

28In the Desert

28The Silent Knight

30The Not-So-Slow Loris

31The Nobody on the Hill

32A New Me


34The Field

35The Bad Girl Haiku

36While I Practise my Piano

37My Party



40The Moon

41The Burglar

42The Butcher


44The Sleeping Sailor


46I Went to the Future

47Maggot Song