Article #57 The Tulip

Inquiry into the disappearance of privateer and captain of Queen Victoria’s man-o-war The Gull of Mercury, turned traitor, Henry Needsworth.

Article #57 – Found in a bottle at sea believed to be scribed by Needsworth.

In the year of our Lord 1856, on the cusp of discovering nature’s biggest secret that will vanquish mankind’s faith from the vacuous sky above, I turn to flowers.

The rose – the people’s choice, becoming as widespread as the plague,
is now on every bloody corner and its thorns shed blood from every maid.
It may earn a fallen man points, but single-handedly won’t see him laid.
You can buy a rose for your whore, but at the end you’ll still have paid.

The Orchid – a beautiful monster, to this day still wild and unkempt.
Yet to be harnessed or hybridised, the undine thrives exempt.
Self-pollinating in the eyes of the lord without remorse or respect
The Orchid aids the rise of atheism, the way it naturally selects

The Poppy – the symbol for peace, shanghaied and set sail
For the opiate Brits pack gunpowder, to fight tooth and nail
We’re killing in the east, for the throne to prevail
The starry-eyed Orient, too high to curtail.

The Tulip – picture-perfect, plain and simple, long stemmed symmetry
Though I confess, manipulated through natural chemistry
On the 8th day man has taken the reins, denouncing Christianity.
The Tulip allows us to play God, reaching divinity.

The bulb two hundred years ago, a form of currency
A golden egg for a golden age, an in demand commodity
Ignoring basic botany, they’d grown a money-tree
Frenzied marketeers raised prices, towards the fevered Gentry

Alas, the fever’s passed, yet she wants the status all the same
A tulip for her thoughts, sweeter than a rose by any other name
So a band of brother’s I’ve united, pushing poppies for the British Dame
But it’s the whore I’m working for, so I can stake my claim

For love she requires a fabled tulip, a new far-east bloom
For her heart entire, for more than a red-lit room
I’ll forage through the jungle floor, and war-torn certain doom
So she’ll relinquish herself to me, for the mere price of a tulip’s perfume.

Note: Needsworth’s last rumoured sighting was in the bowels of Amsterdam’s De Wallen district, 1898.

Detective Colin Delaney
Scotland Yard, March 1899


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