Celebrate RHS #NationalGardeningWeek This year’s theme is “the joy of gardening”. Day Six. Please join Peter Donnelly, Margaret Royall and I. I will feature seven of your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks, one for each day of the week about gardening including your favourite flowers, the gift of flowers, your lawn etc. Please include a short third person bio. This includes vegetables and fruit. What work have you created that celebrates growing and nurturing? Have you written about planting trees, planting seeds, harvest time, spring. About gardens through the seasons? What does your garden do for you? Have you seven poems/short prose/artworks so I can feature your creativity over the whole week, one per day?

Day Six

Fence Pot NGW

Her Fence Pot – Photo by Paul Brookes

Nuances

Such beauty takes my breath away!
Sitting there, tall and proud,
inviting adoration.
At first glance flamingo pink,
But never be too quick judge!
This amaryllis is rainbow-hued…
Closer inspection tells a greater truth,
Fragrant strands of colour
Blending seamlessly together

At birth displaying gentle tangerine
With inner bell of warmest apricot pink
Toiling majestically upwards
towards the weak light of first Spring….
Much bolder then the shades become,
Blood red tendrils interspersed
With splashes of coral and ruby red

Then all too soon the glory starts to fade
Yet still a nuanced cadence sings its tune;
The withering petals glow defiant crimson
As though they’re holding back a loss of blood
And clinging to last vestiges of life.
This sweet enchantment fills the morning space,
Warms up the chilly draft of March
Sweet memories of this colourful profusion
Will stay forever locked within my soul.

*First published in my collection Where Flora Sings

-Margaret Royall

Norton Conyers

I wonder whether Charlotte visited the gardens,
discovered the door in the wall
hidden like the one to the staircase in the house
that led to mad Mary’s attic.

In May she wouldn’t have seen
blue and white Agapanthus, purple Asters,
a beefsteak fungus growing on oak bark,
heard honey bees sucking nectar

from sedum and lavender.
There’d be no ripe red apples
on the grass, no lemons
in the orangery as there are

on this last day of August. But were they the model
for Rochester’s grounds, the scene
of recovery from a disturbed night,
later a proposal of forbidden marriage?

I wish I had Jane Eyre with me now,
the only other sound water
of the fountain in the ornamental pond.
I wouldn’t feel the loneliness of author or heroine,

or the fear I first felt
when I read of the red room,
the third storey,
the witching hour at Thornfield.

-Peter J. Donnelly

A Clock Watch

When clock parts of the lion’s tooth are blown
apart, I see first and second hand their
fertility flight numbers broadcast sown
gusted chaotic in warm summer’s air.

The exploded mechanism flits over
close cut lawns, weeded borders, neatly
fenced, dips over powerhosed driveways, stir
of cats on rooftops, prey hunting sweetly.

Organic time tamed, all about decay
not growth. Imagine accurate time based
on a gradually emerging way.
However, all things reduce to waste.

Our Dandelion’s blown clocks are seeds.
to be uprooted as unwanted weeds.

-Paul Brookes

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

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

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