Prelude to poem ‘March 1st, 2020, St David’s Day’
This poem was written last year, just before the World Pandemic 2020 exploded in the UK, during a time, when all we had to worry about was ‘differences of opinion’! That still remains, of course, and for me, my ongoing ‘fight’ is over ‘styles of gardening’ which impact on our environment and the wider picture.
For nearly a decade, I have come up against a regime, driven by an allotment Committee, whereby diversity and heritage is not celebrated but, indeed, has been virtually obliterated! Order and uniformity is enforced, with apple and pear trees cut down, bushes removed, glyphosate used to kill weeds, and generally a ‘scorched earth’ approach, the idea being that each plot-holder can ‘start afresh’, with a blank canvas…
I have my own triangle-shaped, half-plot, with two Morello cherry trees, apple, plum and pear trees and, my pride and joy, a beautiful Cydonia quince tree! I have a cultivated blackberry, red, black and white currant bushes, six blueberry bushes, and gooseberries too.
There is a small pond: new people are not allowed ponds now! I have frogs, an earthworm rich soil, a visiting fox, blackbirds, long-tailed tits, robins, great tits and the occasional pigeon! I can’t ever leave this piece of ground, as the Committee will cut down my trees! I am passionate about my style of gardening and know that increased diversity produces the greatest abundance.
My plot is an oasis amongst devastation. Those who have suffered badly from this regime have left. I’m holding out for as long as my health and strength can manage!
PS I’m looking for a toy-boy who likes gardening, romance would be nice, but, if they are of my way of thinking, I would like them to inherit my piece of paradise, to continue fighting for our beloved green spaces!
March 1st 2020, St David’s Day by Ianthe
Sister- sun’s warm touch soothed my left shoulder,
Deep, comforting heat…a gift, now I’m older!
Served to remind me of jewels, still to unfold,
Bright, longer days, some relief from the cold…
And, yet, daffodils nodded their yellow ‘Hello’
Bees sought mauve crocus beneath branches below.
I beamed, as I walked on this rain-sodden earth
Revealing its bounty, declaring its worth.
Harvesting broccoli, rhubarb, leeks and sorrel
Caught Mr Blackbird scutter low, by the laurel.
Robin perched on a twig, stretched out his fine wing,
Long-tailed tits gathered, flitted, enjoying their sing,
On turning, to glance down amongst parsley and sage,
Was frogspawn clear-glistening behind the wire cage!
Couched down in the pond, Marsh Marigold mingled
It brought a flush to my face: my gloved-fingers fair tingled!
I smiled, as I heard the ‘wreckers’ break glass,
As this patch of land maintained its own Class,
Undisturbed, full of life, “Hell! … Just pure Heaven!”…
Counted spent summers here, at least ten years, plus seven!
All this planning and building, the soil and its treasure…
The hours of watching, listening, the joy and the pleasure,
Fruitful promise, sure harvest, delight and surprise,
Were all there…unfolding…in front of my eyes.