It is not I the first to say
each soul is like a garden;
each death a garden
where we may no longer walk.
My garden has its walls; a hidden door
beneath the ivy, where the passer-by
would hardly look.
Inside is grass and sweetly- flowering shrubs,
a fountain and a small pavilion too.
You will not find the master
of the garden there,
on silk embroidered cushions sipping tea;
no-one in residence you’ll find
except an old man in a battered hat
composting autumn leaves.
About writing, 94stranger says: I’ve been writing poetry since I was a teenager. My career as a poet got knocked on the head at a very tender age, when I came into contact with the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Pieces such as Fern Hill were the kind of thing I would have desired to write, yet I felt that they could not possibly be bettered. At that point, I ceased to have any ambition to be a Poet.
I guess it’s taken me most of the rest of my adult life to reach the point where I feel that perhaps I have my own voice, and that in any case what others feel about what I write is not a life and death issue! I care about what I feel about it, but that’s not quite the same.
Writing poetry has been a very occasional and episodic thing with me over the years – I have more than once gone several years without writing a line. Actually, I’ve written more poetry in my three months blogging than I probably had in the previous three decades.
Essentially, I write when I am moved –- I don’t feel any obligation to try to write, because my self-image does not include that of being a professional writer in any sense.
I have my obsession with Rainring (for which I am serialising the story I wrote for the illustrators of the cards on the 20th of every month under the rubric “Tales from Rainring”) and one obsession is enough for anybody! I blog under the pseudonym of 94stranger because The Stranger is the Rainring card that represents my personal type.
This poem is a reflection of how I feel about myself. I was, incidentally, a professional gardener for many years. I think of my work these days as gardening in the psyche. The only other thing to say about this specific poem is that it hasn’t yet been matured, so I don’t know if it’s in the final form. The only way to find that out is to leave it for a year or two and then go back and take a long cold look at it. “Write in heat, revise cold” would be my motto for poetry writing, I reckon.