A May Blossom
Fingers gnarled by time’s relentless curse
tremble as she rips the packet open
Mary, Mary, pick up your willow basket,,
it’s time to make your garden grow again!
Seeds rattle, jangle like forest creatures’
sudden chatter, fierce raindrops after drought
Mary, will you sow sweet meadow flowers
in wild profusion as you did as a child?
Seeds spill out, jewels sacrificed from April’s crown;
a chain of broken gems cascading, scattering…
Time waits for no man, Mary, be quick now,
Swoop like a magpie, make your garden grow!
They hit the cobbles, roll into far flung crevices…
The eager soil receives sustenance
Oh Mary, nothing good will come of this!
They say that you are too contrary, girl
On scissor hands and groaning knees she grubs around,
gathering up her grains of cruel dementia
How will your garden thrive now, Mary?
Nature alone cannot turn weeds to flowers!
A frisson of guilt travels down her crumpling spine
Somehow she must rewild this cottage plot
Oh Mary, Mary, soon it will be too late,
Call up your pretty maids to plant and sow
She wrings her hands, fumbles with her apron strings,
slumps against the door jamb, all hope spent.
*First published in my collection Where Flora Sings
Lament for Lemon Trees
I hate to slice a lemon
and cut through a pip
that’s green inside.
It’s like cracking an egg
and finding the foetus
of a chicken. But the seed
would have sprouted,
the chick would not.
I think of the tree
I could have grown
like those that touched the ceiling
at Elmfield Gardens,
had to be left behind,
too tall for the new house.
-Peter J Donnelly
Wife says I must clear weeds and thorned nettles
from beneath our leafy Sycamore tree.
Long tendrils with large leaves test my mettle.
I fetch long loppers, clip back the crazy.
Thankyou to these large tough rigger gloves rip
out the spiked plants, uncover a smaller
Sycamore that needs pruning to its tip.
All the propellers have sprouted taller.
Not a tree hugger I apologise
to parent tree for uprooting it’s young
lopping off its limbs, being garden wise.
I tame it’s wilderness, curtail its sum.
My excuse is I am never on trend.
Older I get harder it is to bend.
(from My Many Acts Of Random Wildness)
Bios And Links
Peter J Donnelly
lives in York where he works as a hospital secretary. He has a degree in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales Lampeter. He has been published in various magazines and anthologies including Dreich and Writer’s Egg, where some of these poems have previously appeared. Last year he won second prize in the Ripon Poetry Festival competition.
Margaret Royall has six books of poetry published. She has appeared widely in print, in webzines and poetry anthologies. She has won or been short-listed in several competitions and her collection ‘Where Flora Sings’, published by Hedgehog Press, was nominated for the Laurel Prize in 2021. Her latest collection, ‘Immersed in Blue’ was published in January 2022 by Impspired Press. She leads a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire and takes part in open mic sessions online and in person. She is currently working on a third poetry collection.
Website: https://margaretroyall.com/ Twitter:@RoyallMargaret