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Monday 3 September 2012

The Garden

The garden is always a surprise
though nothing in the garden is surprising 
except you count 
how many spiders parachuted in last night
on threads so fine
yet strong enough
to hold a whole world, throat and collar, hard
against a wind in savage mood.

The spiders' tents are everywhere.
The rose bed is preparing for a festival, it seems -
of beer or music, probably.

nothing of the garden will surpise as much
as nature and the gardener
when slightly out of sync:
two voices raised                soprano and contralto
now one against the other
and now in perfect unison.

Two truths in conflict -
but with everything in common.

The spiders do not understand the music
though they listen-in attentive to the themes,
afraid to breathe
unless the music gives them leave.

And no one rustles toffee wrappers here, these days.

I often wonder what the bo(a)rders 
make of trippers
who drop in for a season and are gone.

But it's the way plants chat across the void of lawn
that takes the unsuspecting by surprise.
In the chemistries of shape,
in geometries of hue,
are subtleties of body language 
far beyond our ken:
the dahlias dogmatic in their notions,
the phlox with quite a different point of view.

I think the roses may be slightly bombed out of their minds.


Elephant's Child said...

Our violets are not content with chatting across the lawn. Instead, they make sorties, seeking to infiltrate new beds. As do the acquilegia, the daisies and the campanula. Asylum seekers or military action? Who can tell.

Tabor said...

What a lovely description of my favorite topic! Yes our spiders fornicate like crazy right now bringing forth zillions of tiny babies. The butterflies alternate between those looking as if they have just come from the beauty parlor and others looking like they had a very hard night.

Daydreamertoo said...

I love all of this Dave. The description of the spiders, the strength of the strands in the webs they weave, the flowers and plants communicating thoughts. I love the narrators own thought on no-one rustling toffee wrappers anymore. You have taken an almost microscopic look at the workings of a busy garden and turned it into a little bit of magic. The last line rocks!~! Roses bombed out of their minds...haha
Fabulous read Dave!

Brian Miller said...

haha the garden is alive and well...the bag worms have a big old nest and are killing off a tree nearby....the spiders though surely spin some nice art...

haricot said...

Oh, how it would be fun if I could imagine such magical thoughts about my garden. I sometimes stop to weed some wild flowers which look like salt on the earth, though.

Mary said...

You really showed the richness of all the garden activity in your poem, Dave. The thought of flowers conversing with one another makes me smile this morning!

kaykuala said...

The spiders seem to hold center stage. They can be relied upon in moments of need! Nice write Dave!


Grace said...

I like how you painted the garden of spiders' tent and the voices rising from the lawn of silence~

I specially like the last stanza ~

Lovely writing here ~

Carl said...

Love the last line. Just a great poem.

Anonymous said...

Ha - this is very charming, Dave! And what about the poppies!?

Anonymous said...

PS - the cobwebs are incredible as you describe. In the Museum of Natural History in New York, they have this amazingly beautiful cloth hanging spun from spider silk - some Indonesian spider that spins gold webs - it is incredibly shimmering and of course, super super strong. It may be on the web - worth a look. k.

Janine Bollée said...

Like this description of your wayward garden.
BTW, what of snails, slugs [by the thousand], orchid snails, bees swarming in the wrong place, to mention only a few :-)
Not that wayward then?

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Great. Tremendous the last stanza, a strong statement in a strong poem.
I have a garden too to discourse with...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I really feel close to this poem culminating in a splendid last stanza.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love the idea that the plants are communicating across the garden. The only line which jars for me Dave is the last line of all. I don't think I like the idea of the roses being 'bombed out of their minds' - I would rather they were satiated with their own beauty or scent, or something like that - but perhaps that is just me.

Cait O'Connor said...

I like the idea of roses bombed out of their minds. I shall also look at my plants differently after reading this poem.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


I enjoyed visiting your garden. Mine has been most neglected this year, due mainly to the British weather. Somehow, I have missed my annual connection with our plants. Some have been and gone overnight, blown apart with the summer gales. Yet, as you point out, the spiders have been taking full advantage of the human absence to work away building thier web-like empire!!
The main visitors have been in great numbers. Slugs of all sizes, munching away at anything which dared to survive the rains.
Sadly, a wash-out and a desire to see the calmness of autumn.


christopher said...

Splendid dimension added to an already splendid place.

Dave King said...

The Elephant's Child
I like the sound of your (slightly rebellious?) plants. Links them to the earlier prompt on rebellion, and gives them a whole new dimension, somehow.

Gorgeous image! Butterflies that have had a hard night. I shall remember that! (You neverknow, I might even use it!)

daydreamer too
Thanks so much for this. It is really good to know how others take the writes. Your reflections are an inspiration in themselves.

They surely do, yes I possibly under-appreciated them, attributing only tents to their creative powers! Thanks.

my wife is the gardener in our house. I just do the spade work, so I have plenty of time to ruminate.

That's fine. Just as I would have wishe it. Thanks.

They fascinate me. I think I'm always inclined to give them centre stage.

Thanks Grace. I really appreciate this.

Thanks. Always good to know.

Ah, well, where does one draw the line? What sort of poppy had you in mind?
Much thanks for the info on the Indonesian spider's web. I will certainly have a looksee!

Slugs? Snails? Yup, we do have plenty of they. Maybe next time! Bees swarming in the wrong place, we don't have though. (Or bees at all, come to that!) Sounds interesting. Thanks for the prompt!

Many thanks for these observations. As always, very welcome.

The Weaver of Grass
Thanks weaver. It's always great to read your comments. No, it's not entirely just you. I do take your point, but the other point is that they are not at their best just now and really do look slightly bombed out of their mind. Yes, they could be intoxicated with their own scent etc, but the line was intended to refer b ack to the festival and suggest that it might have been a beer festival.

A Cuban In London said...

So, do I. My answer to your closing line. With so much going on in that gardem, I, too, would be bombed out of my mind. Many thanks. I loved it.

Greetings from London.