Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “garden”

The Garden Revisited

Dream you are in a garden.
Close your eyes and feel the sun tickle sweat from the back of your neck.
Open your mouth and gather the raindrops into your body.
Dig your toes into the soft soil and breathe in its sweetness.
Hear the thrumming of life sing to the beat of your heart.
Dream you are a garden.


Garden Dreams

Garden dreams start early.

Barely out of January,

I imagine the earthy tang of potting soil,

the cool sweetness of spring rain on my tongue,

the weathered roughness of terra cotta pots

beneath my fingers.

In my dreams, tangles of clambering peas and beans

twine themselves Heaven-ward,

waving their white and red flowers to flag

down wayward bees.

In my mind’s eye tomatoes hang heavy,

onions and garlic tilt their lances at the sky,

and the greens march crisply, row on successive row,

out of the garden and into my salad bowl.

Then into my dreams floats the scented glory

of roses, the rioting rainbow of hardy perennials,

the colours of laughter and abundance and joy.

Do not wake me from this reverie too soon,

at least not until the seed catalogues begin to sprout

in frigid mail boxes.

Garden dreams start early.




The Garden Green

The garden of my dreams is green on green,
every step alive with sighing shadow.
Each twig and leaf a real and sentient soul
whispering peace with every snap and bruise,
forgiveness in each drop of sap it bleeds
to heal my heart and send me out renewed.

Pondering the cost of my renewal
I wonder how I could have been so green
to worry those old wounds until they bled.
Mem’ries pool upon the floor like shadows
that in the morning light will leave a bruise,
a dark patch on the floor boards of my soul.

It must be such a tender thing,  this soul,
to be in constant need of renewal,
easy to hurt and all too quick to bruise,
to bloom in shades of yellow, mauve, and green
not unlike the garden, deeply shadowed,
the only place I can staunch the bleeding.

It’s dawn now in the garden, daylight bleeds
through leaf and bough and lands upon my soul
spreading warmth and dazzling the shadows.
I rise to face the world again, renewed.
and watch the rising sun lick the trees green,
purple night recedes like fading bruises

The coffee sings and hiccoughs as it brews,
dribbling stains like rings of ochre blood
across a tablecloth of white and green
sprinkled with daisies that some lonely soul
stitched upon it long ago renewing
faith that simple things can banish shadows.

I close my eyes and I see the shadows,
the green on green where every blooming bruise
becomes a flower in a world renewed,
where strength to carry on runs in the blood,
where one can always save a wounded soul
within the sacred garden, green on green.

There is no shadow so dark or bleeding,
so damaged, so bruised, that the tired soul
can’t find renewal in the garden green.



Okay, I’m throwing it out there – who knows what form this poem is written in? The first one to answer correctly gets a copy of the book.


Faerie Nest

Some flowers attract humming birds
and others attract bees
and some attract the airy butterflies.
I’d like to plant a flower bed,
not for aught of these,
but to attract the faeries fluttering by.

What flowers would a faerie like
and would they even grow here?
I’ve searched all my garden books in vain.
But if I were a faerie I’d
prefer the wild pink roses
to peonies all draggled in the rain.

I’d have a cloak of pussy willow,
a dress of coralroot,
and slippers from the wild blue columbine.
I’d not need imported blooms
to make a happy home
a thimbleberry bush would be just fine.

So keep your bees and butterflies
and keep your humming birds.
They’re lovely, but I’m off upon a quest
to find a faerie garden hidden
deep within the woods
and see a faerie’s wild flower nest.



Greenhouse Glow

So there I was, just me and the mad dogs,
my English roots glinting in the mid day sun,
cleaning out the greenhouse.
Telling over old pots, faded seed packets, and leaky watering cans
and why do I have three of those little fork type hand tools
and only one trowel? Taking everything outside and scrubbing
off the neglect, resigning myself to consigning
the worst to the rubbish tip.

Yes there I was, the sun spinning around me
when you found me and shaking
your head said “look at your shoulders, they’re bright red”
and I looked although I knew you wouldn’t lie about
pain; current or impending
“Oh my, this is going to hurt” I thought.
I really ought to know better, and I put on
a shirt like closing the barn door and later that day,
aloe anointed, fiery red shoulders
banked to a dull glow, I sigh
“Oh well, at least I got the greenhouse cleaned out.”


Verse of the Garden

Tending garden tends to be
a never ending tendency,
a strenuous activity
that leaves some tender spots on me.

Now day is done and sun has fled
it’s time to put tools in the shed,
to rise and leave the garden bed
and fall into my own instead.



Spring Hopes

Hope springs eternal
Spring hopes are eternal too
That’s why we garden.

Though deer nibble shoots,
bugs skeletonize leaves and
aphids slurp plant juice,

late frosts breath icy death,
too much rain, or too little,
drown and parch in turn.

Quack grass strangles roots,
the wind sucks the soil dry,
and slugs vandalize.

Northern gardening
has it’s challenges, it’s true
but hope springs, Spring hopes.




Tall and stately they begin,
row upon row of buds,
cool green with only a blushing hint
of the colours yet to come.

Days grow longer and hotter.
Buds burst upwards in an orgy
of sun worshipping colour.
robin’s egg to midnight,
some with dainty white trim like
gingerbread on the eaves,
and one the colour of chocolate and milky coffee.

Drunk with warm, summer rain,
they gargle bees in their throats and
stagger beneath the weight of their own beauty.
They lean on each other and fall spillikins.
Too late I tie them to their canes

Dry now, their seasonal duty done,
seeds ripen into death rattles
and spill across the pale golden bones,
hollow and brittle.
I collect the remains, inter them
in the compost pile, and wait.
Next spring, when the delphiniums
are born again, I will lay the essence
of their predecessors at their feet.



My Mother’s Quilt

My mother’s quilt hangs on the wall.
Sometimes I touch it lightly as I walk by
Its softness reminds me of her skin and
the colours remind me of her gardens.
She loved her gardens.

I remember her rose trees,
tall as me and covered with blood red roses.
Come fall she’d loosen the soil around their roots,
lay them in a trench, and bury them.
Spring would bring the resurrection.
The stark, dirty sticks would waken,
leaf out, and bloom again.
A botanist would tell you it was a technique,
a method of wintering roses.
But I think they came back each year
because they loved my mother.

I touch the quilt again.



Goddess in the Garden Rewrite.

Emergence Indigo-drawing by L Studley

"Emergence in Indigo" - Pen and Ink-Indigo variation. By L Studley

As always, I received some very insightful feedback from my writing group on Saturday! I submitted ‘Goddess in the Garden’ for them to critique and was inspired to do a rewrite. Rebekah mentioned that, although I include references to ‘singing to’ the ‘sun’, ‘stars’, and ‘ocean’ as well as to the ‘earth’,  most of the poem seems to talk about the earth only. She suggested that I expand the poem, and I think she was right.
I am including the rewrite here but the first draft is still in its original post if you want to compare them. The rewrite is obviously longer, but it also explores the Goddess in her relationships with these other elements.

Goddess in the Garden

The Goddess in the Garden is not afraid of snakes.
She strides barefoot, browned by sun, washed by rain.
Nakedly unashamed of the miracle, she lies
upon the open ground and leaches her essence
into the greedy earth, renewed, reborn through a million petals unfurled.
Burgeoning in tempting fruit and wanton weed alike
she sings the earth a song of plenty

The Goddess in the Garden is not afraid of the light.
She sways, heliotropic, eyes wide to the sky.
She steams from Earth to arc in apogee
to turn, prisms tangled in her hair.
Becoming the light and flooding back to Earth
she sings the sun a song of power.

The Goddess in the Garden is not afraid of the dark.
She dances to the rhythm of the moon, lambent steps
through dusky depths undaunted.
Limned with icy fire she spins the long night
into blessed dreams.
And smiling sweet abandon
she sings the stars a song of wonder.

The Goddess in the Garden is not afraid of water.
Dissolute she melts into the tidal swell.
Cradled in creation she floats in seaweed,
Hair streaming out behind.
A perfect balance of blood and brine and breath,
she sings the ocean a song of life; deep, immortal, ancestral home.

It is no sin to sing.

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