Within the garden – satisfyingly
green and monumentally trim –
there are those places; nooks
and crannies, rough creased hideaway
crevasses for creatures – a sanctuary
for bugs and the windswept soil
now stowed and packed tightly away,
right above the empty trails left
by birds, save for the heavier crumbs
scattered at lunch time and as if to say –
we know where you live.
The crumbs left at elevenses lie beside
a time before creaking bone reminders
that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and when
an internal lunchtime clock alarm signals
a mid way point of no return.
The hot sun causes a symbiotic relationship
with the beaded pad teetering on the brink,
and inharmoniously ill at ease on aching
shoulders – aching, but freestyle dancing
to the inevitable tune and building
crescendo of pain.
Chimes from my stomach sound
before the sun’s beams would definitely scour
harshly for leaving behind a hat together with
the garden gloves and digestive biscuits newly
appointed to the tin; the armoury
of my supplies.
Unregulated pockets of pristine white daisies
neatly and eerily arranged within each one,
and in no small number, are a find – long
missed tiny stepping stone island worlds
where my thoughts can hover the imagination
set inside each one of them – thoughts
to be collected and re seeded.
And here inside the walled scented air,
where the pollen suffuses
causing the stir inside my nostrils
tingling with the dusted grains – trails
left by the workers from their busy day shift –
I feel united.
With my palms tight against the
welcome coolness of glazed
ceramic and time snug against twilight’s
soothing cushion, I push back and smell
the aromas emanating from it all.
Kicking back on the heavy wrought
iron chair I entrust my weary bones
to molten flesh – today its petrified
membranes hold an eclectic array of charms:
the nurvure of gossamer web,
which had been at some point the fractal
connective tissue of this hollowed out
ornate creation of a garden chair, the
charm of old paint – skin shed of
blistering bubbles and hopes
of any chance of attentive caresses, it
has removed itself from dried
up adhesive and with freshly applied
resignation to leap like lemmings
becoming the remnants of yesterday’s days
and let’s not forget the many and generous
donations from next door’s erratic
and reactionary tom cat, who is casually
but with apparent deftness and accuracy
called, ‘Trouble’ – the addendum
to this cat’s word is that his name,
‘Trouble’, is meant without capitalisation
of the letter ‘T’. Ever since next door
accidentally took delivery of ‘Viva’,
a new and up and coming literary
magazine, I often ponder this insignificant
absence of rational and how might this trend
be manifested, when nibbling
on a digestive biscuit, followed of course
by a Garibaldi given the magnitude
of the situation.
In completion, add to the mix fervent attempts
by said tom to claw carve his name
unceremoniously onto the iron daisy garden
accoutrement and its spindly, ornate French legs,
– what an abundant mix it all is.
Scrapes on the concrete momentarily
interrupt the eponymous and lower cased tom,
busily playing with puzzle pieces under foot
and paw – his pleasure abounds
as he bounds to and fro on the fragile islands –
his prey, and an easy score these critters appear
to him, heavily asleep on Mogadon tonight.
The joy is not shared and the news
not so good for the puddles of woebegone
daisies caught on his unceasing tide.
Maybe it resonates with him; this softer,
more gracious victim – preferable to the iron clad
unwillingness and ferocity that comprise
the mock renaissance garden table and chairs –
a metal gauge of times spent here;
with their butterfly’s winged backs that remind
me of her –
a small twinge licks at the corners
of my mouth not quite escaping, not yet anyway.
but I am taken from my thoughts –
unpruned roses are forced to bend
their rigidity just a tiny bit as the evening breeze
kicks up, and I kick back again scraping
the day from my boots causing the metal feet
of my chair to tear at the patio’s crazily paved
and now aggrieved fragments.
She would have liked the roses
to be kept as she had left them
but instead I am taken to the bowed head
of the fuchsia, her moping makes me want to lift it
so that it can bask for a while in the pull
of the moon, in the illusion
of weightlessness and powerful imagery,
and be aware of its presence.
Perhaps her head is fine, turned away once
a long, long time ago – turned from the majesty
she espied to remain forever in contemplative
reverence and perhaps on occasion
when chivalrous winds come, she catches
a lustrous, crescent smile on those
I think I hear a voice from the sunken spot
in her favourite chair – time for tea and chatter.
I put down the clay cold cup,
I have an urge to hunt out my pruning shears –
she wouldn’t like that, and nor would I
and I am distracted again this time by
a croaking rattle of the latch on the gate and a dog
who no longer scratches at it, and a woman
who never calls him,
familiar memories that close each night
and crank open my day like the garden umbrella,
like the hibiscus flowers each time
I set to work to keep our garden
just so – I am reminded once again why
I never have pruned her favourite rosebush –
occupied by wilder tenants now, but still as vivid
and as untameable as she once was.
To tend it would mean losing more of her –
having less of her than I already have,
and that would break my heart all over again.
I sometimes wish that the emptiness
pervading these walls would become like
our mornings cast in early shadows, when the sun
and you still held court.
I bid her good night in my thoughts, and with
this wild thorn cupped in my hand –
I heave a heavy sigh – no amount of tender care
would ever bring you back.