Tag Archives: Ianthe Pickles

March 1st 2020 St David’s Day

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.




Times of Tribulation – April 1st – All Fools’ Day, 2020    

Photo Yeshe Dorje: Musselburgh Harbour

Spring’s stance hung, chilled; grim sky surged, grey,

‘Fool’ ventured down to the Prom that day

Took chosen, odd path, chanced route, least trod,

Vain trampling, awry, o’er matted green sod,

Clambered high bluff, breathless; traversed bleak tops,

Below, vast-spreading river…above, lean lonely copse,

‘Tis “Thirty-two days syn March began”,

Familiar, stark words for a Chaucer-fuelled fan?

More than a month, of sly, creeping terror,

Unrushed in response, sprayed droplets in error.

“We should have distanced ourselves, from the start!”

Instead, we are only just learning ‘our part’…

Frail Earth breathed still, strange, quiet, so unreal,

Beyond, “Mother Mountain”, her dark gifts conceal?

Warm zephyrs connecting ‘like souls’, to far lands,

Sending songs of condolence, ‘cross gasping, cracked sands.

Now, cocooned in our spaces, with birdsong for clocks,

We network with loved ones…receive food in a box!!!

‘Nil hugs’ and no kisses, no quests…for a while,

Clan connect, knowing glances, solo stranger’s scared smile,

Bright rainbow as symbol, for lives held in treasure

Propped-up ‘Teddies’ in windows, augmenting our pleasure,

Lark thought, that this April was “Surely no joke?”

Blind ‘Hope’ channeled daily, uniting, safe-calling-together, strayed folk.

Ianthe Pickles
Lives in Liverpool
Worked for 37 years as a full-time Primary and later Secondary/Special School teacher and college tutor.
“Writing (especially poetry) was often a release during emotional and turbulent times in the 1980s working in an area of severe deprivation and unemployment in Liverpool. 
When life gets out of control, writing can often help it make sense.”