In the garden of how I feel
but tears and sighs and bitter aloes.
I cannot speak my sorrow:
it swells inside me, fungating tumour,
choking words and ulcerating thoughts.
In the garden of how I feel,
there is no light; sunken corner
of mind's eye
diseased, where knotted stems writhe and mould,
mandrakes scream, torn out of earth,
and the angry rustling of ivy leaves
sirens that rats are tunnelling through.
It’s their garden now; dead ones stink
where lily and rose used to be.
by violence of absence mutates,
past and present are displaced -
love severed, nothing looks nor feels the same
that once was seen and felt by her, too.
Please don’t tell me, then, to “move on”-
raw amputee crawling towards
a closed door.
Let me journey in catacombed mind
to resurrect the garden,
replant her flowers, released,
in sweet disorder, out of stone and clay,
ancient art of heartbreak colours mixed;
rare slender straight-backed gallantry,
supple as swaying summer stems;
like her the most while having little -
her calico mystery -
I see her - quick - she’s climbed the tree again -
she stands, laughing in the dappled light.
Written after seeing a photograph of a woman in a garden