The Garden (2)



In the beginning were stones, clay, weeds;
unforgiving materials, unlikely seeds.
Then, transformation; beginning to mould
form and function. Her vision took hold.
Grass planted, soil smoothed, first sprouting of lawn.
Then a cricket pitch, a tennis court; her sons were born.
Later, rockery, bushes, flowers, trees.
Hours spent digging, churning earth, on her knees.
Pouring devotion, her love, in diverse ways;
as fervent, here, as at church on Sundays.
Feeding the garden, as she did her family,
instinctively, tirelessly, selflessly.
Plants rotated, recycled, instilled with life anew.
Meanwhile, the Giant Redwood just grew and grew . . .


. . . the Giant Redwood just grew and grew.
A pure force of nature, it did not ask why,
for it to continue its surge to the sky,
its neighbouring plants must dwindle and die.
All around her, too, people she knew
and loved were dwindling; once many, now few.
She continued to grapple with stone, with mud.
A pitiless fight; she did what she could.
Her days wore down, still so much to be done;
relying more, now, on her faithful son.
Did she ever wonder; ever question the worth
of what she’d achieved, with this plot of earth?
If she did, the answer came with the sight
of a crimson-leafed bush, aglow in sunlight.
A beauty so fragile, it transfixed her heart.
Unheralded bounty; Nature as Art.

It was “Mother’s Day” last Sunday, and, for me, memories of my mother – who died a few years ago – inevitably impinge.  Gardening was a pivotal passion for her; I wrote about it in an earlier post in this blog, which contained a verse entitled “The Garden”.  I always intended to complete the poem by adding a second verse, and managed to finish it a few weeks ago.  The line mentioning “. . . her faithful son” is not a reference to me, but to my brother, who was a great help to her in her final years.  The fact that I lived a long distance away, and never got to see enough of her, is one that I still regret.


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