The Writing Garden – Issue Five


Cover Image: Lily Pad ~The Wall Gallery
Kirt Tisdale ~ thewallgalleryblog
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Water Lilies
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If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.
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But if you remember, then turn away forever
To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.
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Sara Teasdale

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Whisper

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https://i0.wp.com/www.tulliehouse.co.uk/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/object_image_images/1949_125_29_view1.jpg

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The waif whispered.
Her words slid to
the ground like
metal chains,
yet, it was a
soundless deluge,
a firm yet friable
force, as though
an iron butterfly
had flitted
in and out
of the room.
Such an impression
remained
of her being
weighted down,
as when
‘light’ and ‘sprightly’
were uttered
by thunder,
as a rough
charcoal sketch
of an Angel.
Little lotus feet
in ebony clogs
fluttered,
as doves in
pewter cages.
A soot grey kite
tried in vain
to catch the wind
with a string
of words.
An ashen grave
of a life
unspoken,
a graveyard
of phrases,
at last
forsook
her dark refuge,
releasing a
whispered,
barely breathing
“I’m sorry”.

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Lilium Candidum -> angelwings444.blogspot.co.uk
 Image -> Madeleine by Arthur Hughes
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red_on_green_by_akpelan

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Susan Parr -> Twitter/Audioboom
Image -> Akpelan

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August Skin

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komorebi-46861-glistening-sun-gif

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bared skin in summer
dancing trees embrace the sun
taste the rushing wind

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Andira Dodge -> wordrummager.tumblr.com/wordrummager.com

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Less Than Perfect

 

the_kiss_by_paul_shanghai-d5rqjqi

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She apologized to him
for years that had taken their toll.
For auburn hair that had lost its luster,
and delicate features
that were less than perfect.
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He apologized to her
for the guise of gray that clearly shown.
For hands now trembling
at the mere anticipation
of bodies merging,
of lips pressing hard.
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After years of being denied
their passion was consummately fed
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Slow and methodical,
heeding no apologies.

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Kelly Scheppers -> WritersCafe
Image -> Paul-Shanghai

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Any Other Way
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plumeria_by_makena_marie-d835rn0

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is there really
any other way
once we have breathed
the same air
and exhaled life
together.

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is there really
any other way
to hear songbirds
greet the sunrise
to share morning coffee
and the scent of plumeria
awakening our day.

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is there really
any other way
to make double footprints
in the sand
to taste salt crusted lips
alive in the sea breeze.

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is there really
any other way
to explode like rocket launches
from the cape or
view Jupiter and Venus
rising together
as shooting stars streak
our sky with wishes.
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is there really
any other way
to eat ice cream from
the same cone
or read our desires
in poetry heated
by tongues of wildfires.
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is there really
any other way
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Aubrie -> aubriestar.tumblr.com
Image -> Makena-Marie

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Everywhere

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red-geraniums-basking-linda-jacobus
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My favourite thing of all is to shut the doors of our greenhouse and breathe in the peppery smell of geraniums.  I tell my sister I want to marry a geranium, but later when she tells my brothers and they laugh at me, I say she’s got it wrong.  I want to carry a geranium.  ‘Where?’ they ask, and I answer, truthfully, everywhere.

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Sarah Salway -> writerinthegarden.com/Digging Up Paradise
Image -> Linda Jacobus

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Gypsy

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treasure_by_mariey-d6vmfgr

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My grandmother called herself “Gypsy”
A pen name unearthed
As we sorted through her meagre belongings
In my aunt’s ancient sunporch
On a humid August night.
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Dragon sculptures and tarot cards
Family pictures and bingo markers
Books and books and books
But it was the old Christmas box
Faded and worn
That caught my eye
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In it, I found her poems
Songs and stories kept hidden
Written in a script that evolved
Through shaky innocence
To hard won wisdom
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They spoke of love
Of hopes and dreams
And word after word
Her unwavering support in my dreams
Was fondly remembered
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If I write for anyone
I write for Gypsy
And all the stories
She never shared.
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Natasha Head -> tashtoo.tumblr.com/Amazon/tashtoo.com/Twitter
Image -> Mariey

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Listen…
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b0004e4a7377314573f95a249ec99fc8-d4wgs9p

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with open arms
they stand ~ waiting
to embrace
your passion
and
your vision.

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I can hear their voices
whispering…from afar…

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can you hear them?

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your dreams are speaking….
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Kimberly -> words4jp.wordpress.com/tridancer.tumblr.com
Image -> monikha

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Lost, but found

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when_the_sky_caught_fire_by_emily_white-d5gigwn
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The onset of lethargy
Was gradual over the years.
It crept so faintly,
She barely noticed it at first.
And then it struck her one night
So suddenly, so cruelly.
And this time she couldn’t pull through
This now lingering affliction.
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It took her energy and strength,
The light in her eyes, the curve in her smile,
Her hopeful voice and endless optimism.
The dreams she held onto so dearly,
The plans she intended for her life
Had no future in her present.
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It took the sharpness
In her gray matter,
And the balanced rhythm
Of her beating heart.
But never will it take her spirit!
The only life-force left in her.
And so it forced within!
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She chose to read,
So she wouldn’t forget words
And their meanings.
She chose to write,
So she wouldn’t stop creating
Thoughts and feelings.
She chose to dance,
So she could feel her body
Moving, breathing.
She chose to love,
So she could finally
Be feeling, living.
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It thought it could devour her whole.
But it’s not her time yet, no.
She doesn’t know if she can defeat it,
But her spirit’s helping her.
The lost in her is finally fading.
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Nadia Gerassimenko -> Writers Cafe/tepidautumn.net
Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn

Image -> Emily-White

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TALKING WITH CROWS

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scanwoman-with-crow

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I love it when the crows talk to me:

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They know the comings and goings along the road,
why the blue jays are shrieking
and the sparrows have grown quiet in the bush.
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Crows tell of the hawk’s shadow skimming the treetops
the silent owl on the hunt,
the bat looping the lawn.
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They know the house wren’s hysterics
mean the house cat is slinking
through the grass, they know
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there’s a bear feasting in the black cherry,
a dead snake on the road
and the turkey vultures are circling.
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Crows—all eyes and ears and voice,
And they know that I am good
for old crusts of bread and gossip.
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Melissa Shaw-Smith -> melissashawsmith.com
Image -> nyssaherself.tumblr.com

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Softly Sunday

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picjumbo.com_IMG_9104

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He sleeps
She dreams
Of sun – salty and butterwarm
Of trees – teeming with quietly furred apricots
And running and running loud
Too/so eager to bruise.
He sleeps.
She wakes,
Warm and sweet.
Oh, how she Loves apricots.
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Kim Plummer -> fortyoneteen.wordpress.com/Twitter
Image -> Viktor Hanacek (Picjumbo)

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Can You Read Me, Major Tom?

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the jarring feeling of waking yourself

just as you’re beginning to slip
into a beautiful sleep…
your hand relaxes its grip
as the book you’re reading
makes a loud thudding sound
as it drops to the floor
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you dream of floating…
and a book with endless pages
being turned by monkeys
and twelve astronauts trying to spell ‘dilettante’
on their ham radios
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laughter doesn’t weigh anything
but it causes atmospheric disturbance
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you can balance a book
on a nipple in space
but you’d rather eat the pages
than risk a paper cut
and reading naked in space
is not for everyone
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Andira Dodge -> wordrummager.tumblr.com/wordrummager.com

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Dear Friend

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loveyousomuch_by_alicjarodzik-d7jk1ax

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Now that September is radiating
The effects of spring
And the autumn leaves
Have started their process;
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Swamps have swallowed
Us in entirety
Near white lighthouse
Where our names are engraved
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It has become difficult
Surviving without you cosmically;
Sometimes the western wind
Brings your evening air
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Vaporising the droplet of sweat
On my forehead
Comforting me
With a simple lullaby;
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When the showers quieten
Three hours after midnight;
The crickets stridulate,
Your doofus messages are missed
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I’ve pictured your face
In times of joy and glumness
Walking through life
With the hands of time
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During those moments
When I can whisper a prayer for you;
I close my eyes
And wish you are content.
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dhritspoetry -> dhritspoetry.tumblr.com
Image -> AlicjaRodzik

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59 and Counting

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joey_by_marie_esther-d6pl4ru

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i look for bits of me
under beds
in drawers.

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dust bunnies run amok.

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there was a time
i knew who i was,
it was clear.

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on tuesdays
i taught.

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on sundays
i slept in,
held your love between my teeth
and inhaled
your scent off my pillow.

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fifty nine.
i say it
over and over.

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it feels old.

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maybe it is.

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i look for the youth
i left
stubbornly clinging
to boxes of lace,
afraid to let myself go.

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if i opened
the lid just once
would i know myself
in the things
i placed in there
so long ago. . .

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fifty nine
years, losing bits of me
i would cry
but i can’t find that part of me.
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Audrey Howitt -> audreyhowittpoetry.blogspot.co.uk
Image -> Marie-Esther

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Secret

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ruby_mint_by_shanzl

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I can ride my bike round and round the garden without stopping now.  Sometimes I will put my hand out and pick a leaf in passing.  Often I’ll put it up to my nose without thinking.  One day when I do this, I have to apply brakes because of something exciting. I sniff and sniff, and then some more.  A ball of happiness bursts in my stomach until I have to go back to find which plant this leaf comes from.  I want to dive into it headfirst, but I pick several leaves instead and put them safely in my basket.  Every few yards I’ll stop to put my nose inside the basket.  When I ask my mother later, she’ll say this is called mint and that it’s a pest.  I learn what it’s like to love something in secret.
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Sarah Salway ->writerinthegarden.com/Digging Up Paradise
Image -> shanzl

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The Queen Of Bees

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The Queen Of Bees - Lilly - artwork for poem

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When I awoke this morning
I found I was a fragile flower
Flagrant
Perched on a sunbeam’s edge

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I am inviting you to treat me, today
As a special jewel
A crystal with a thousand facets and inflections
A rainbowed dew drop with uncountable reflections
A holographic fragment containing the entire universe
A flowered, honey bee with sides and angles
You have never contemplated before

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If you take up my invitation
I will treat you, in the morning, as an angel
In the afternoon, I will treat you like a king
And, when the fire burns bright tonight
And, you become a dragon
I will treat you as a god

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I will be vibrant and perfumed
Enticing, with my eyes, your fires
My seething heart will breathe
Will heave
Igniting your desires

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Buddha, secure in his detachment
May disapprove of my excesses
My caresses
My emotion
My devotion
But, I still, will
Bring to you
The pungent nectar
Of ten thousand flowers
Which burst
To quench your thirst

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I will dance for you and sing
Give to you, my fluttering wing
Here, beside the blue bell’s ring
I will meet, your sweet demands
I will give to you my sweet hands
I will give to you my sweet dreams
I will give you all my rainbowed facets
And, my sweet sunbeams

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If you search my quiet shadows
And, the darkness of my eyes
If you brush away my showers
And, the hush of my disguise
I will invade you
And, persuade you
To believe in myths of old
To believe in warriors bold
To believe my body’s gold
And, that I am
The Queen of Bees
I’m sweet as swamp fed, dogwood trees
Sweet, white clover, honey breeze
Swinging on my high trapeze
Through skies of amber, buzzing, please

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My body’s brushed
With pollen’s dust
And, I am here to interweave
I am here to intertwine
I am here to wind
About you
Like a lavish, jasmine vine

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I will feed you with ambrosias
Of the sweetest, wild perfume
Distilled from whisps of distant clouds
Which decorate the afternoon
And, the wishes of sweet flowers
Who have kissed the fragrant moon

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If you wish me
If you kiss me
If you come and take my hand
You will see me
(You can’t be me
But, I know
You’ll understand)
I am just a fleeting notion
Yet, I am a potent potion
Like the sighs that fill the ocean
With restless waves and breathless motion

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When you meet me
You complete me
You mistreat me
You defeat me
Yet, you are my revelation
You are my extreme elation
You compel my transformation

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For you, I’ll be my most sensational
In your arms I am insatiable
And, still, I am a fragile flower
Perched on the edge of a sunbeam’s bower
My rainbowed, dew drop wings are sunny
If you kiss me, I’ll turn into honey
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Valeria Castellanos -> WritersCafe/thefourfacedwind.wordpress.com
onadanta.wordpress.com
Image
-> Valeria Castellanos

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Zen Shadow

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poetry_by_talesofnightwing-d75tboa
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you wrote me a book of poetry privately
sent it to me anonymously, and was crushed
when i read it carefully, scanning for barbs,
seeing you, no mamby-pamby tennyson bard,
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sure you meant to snare my heart, you, lush
with imagery, factory of corazon cologne,
quietly shredding your tissues to weave
a spell within my own inky veins,
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yet you speak of love so compliant…
–my love is a violent sea beneath;
i’m no zen shadow to seek to know

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you wrote me a book of poetry privately
but sent it in a dream so ghostly
–you know i’m no shadow;
i am the beginning i’ve always been
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merseawaves -> merseawaves.tumblr.com
Image -> TalesOfNightWing

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Top Of The Morning

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lavender_fields_by_ehofferle-d7arieq

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I awaken

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Upon this morning’s rise
Sky dancing
In morning glory blues
And fields of lavender pinks
Peers of Aqua marine patches
Melt away
Through stone bluffs
And woodland trees
I hear
A lone blue heron’s call
Followed by
A rushing raven’s
Fly away
And a small tree peeper’s cheer
I feel
The grey pewter waters below
Holding its bare blackened forest
With this night’s thick dampness
My earth responds
Back to me
In a sweet cold calm
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Joanie Roberts -> shadowleavesonlakeann.com
Image -> ehofferle

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Ode To Horace Mann

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Lunatic Landscape-Doug Stuber

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Be aware that energy is life, save some for your kids.
Be afraid that our minds are bent by news, not books.
Be awed by the healing power of the simple purple cone flower.
Be awake before the bombs drop, before the money rules.
Be agile: live in a town that walks and bikes to work and play.
Be amused by ants and birds, goats and potato fields, lilacs and sycamores.
Be angry only long enough to solve the problem, then move on.
Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.
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Doug Stuber -> dougstuber.wordpress.com
Image -> Doug Stuber

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_...and then, I have nature and art and-02

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This issue is extremely art filled, bursting with gardens and nature – no intention at all, it just naturally went that way!  I hope you find it a refreshing read before the season turns to winter.

Thanks so much to those who left links to their websites and all those writers who must have been surprised by me asking, but so kindly agreed to let me publish their work.

.The gorgeous cover art for this issue has been provided by Kirt Tisdale from The Wall GalleryTake a trip to his galleries, and you’ll find some inviting art and photography.  Kirt also has a WordPress blog, so if art or photography are of interest to you, then please do pay his blog a visit.

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If you’d like the possibility of your poetry, spoken word, short story or essay included in the next issue published in November, please see Submissions.

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35 comments on “The Writing Garden – Issue Five

    • Thank you so much for the nomination and giving me a mention and the links, especially to this blog too – so kind of you Geo!! 🙂 I don’t usually participate in challenges or blog awards because of the time it takes, I won’t be able to do those posts or nominations – so sorry about that. I’m finding there is even less time now that I’m putting this magazine together – there’s a lot of behind the scenes communication/arrangements in creating this, spare time seems to vanish fast! But it’s the thought that counts the most, and I do really appreciate that thought – thanks so much Geo!! 🙂

  1. Stunning, stunning, stunning! I have been reading the posts for several days now, and I must say I especially liked “The Queen of Bees.” *sigh* Your choices of artwork are wonderful, what a treat to still view imagery reminiscent of summer 🙂

    • Aahh, thank you so much Justa!! ‘The Queen Of Bees’ was very striking to me when I first read it. And so lovely the writer has provided her own art too. There were three writers who provided the art this time, I’m so pleased that side of the magazine is progressing.

      I am quite fussy when it comes to choosing images, I probably spend too much time looking for the best ones, but it’s satisfying to see the end result, especially when people like yourself enjoy it so much. And a lot of those images/art are for sale too, which is great if anyone likes a piece so much they want it hanging on their wall!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read it all and your kind comments, very much appreciate that Justa! 🙂

  2. I was very much in awe when I got here, not knowing what I would find…sort of like Alice in Wonderland. And what a wonderland it is! My hat is off to you, my new and talented friend…thank you!

  3. Another lovely issue Suzy, thank you! You know me, I always try to pick a favourite but this time there are three. All the poems are excellent but my particular preferences this time are ‘Everywhere’ ‘Listen’ and ‘Secret’ 😊

    • I like that Christine, favourites are very honest! 🙂 We will all relate to one or two more than others, it’s only natural. ‘Listen’ reminds me lot of some things my mother said to me when I was in my early twenties, reaches me in a very personal way that one! And Sarah Salway has a lovely collection of writing on garden thoughts and childhood garden memories in her book ‘Digging Up Paradise’. She sent me some more of those short pieces and even though I’m not and never have been a gardener, I can so relate her beautiful writing. Also her blog is a very unusual collection of creative writing and posts about gardens and plants. I did wonder if you might like what she had to say, as I know you love gardens and flowers and nature very much too. You’re always welcome to mention your favourites , thank you for highlighting them Christine! 🙂

      • I’ve just tried to look at Sarah Salways blog but for some unknown reasion it keeps saying there is a problem connecting so I will try again later. I’m eager to have a look. I love the phrase “digging up paradise” . 😊

        • Oh! 😦 All the links on both her pieces are still connecting for me. So yes, I’d try again later or another day, must be a lack of connection between servers and depending which ones you’re linked to. Strange things like that happen to me too, annoying that. ‘Digging Up Paradise’ is a great title, I love that phrase too. Titles for books are not always easy to get right, but I find that one attractive, and very appropriate for what it’s about! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Nadia, and for your lovely thought provoking contribution for this issue too! I’m sure there will be others who like me related a lot to what you said. It’s right to share those feelings and thoughts. Good things will be on the way for you! 😀

    • Well, thank ‘you’ Kirt for the art, it’s quite stunning!! 🙂 A lily pond is something I’ve been wanting to paint for ages but not yet got round to. I find your painting very inspiring, love the way you paint light. That’s something on the few paintings I have achieved, not quite dared to get into the light yet. I should just splash that light around! Thanks for the inspiration and making this issue so garden beautiful! 😀

  4. Such grand company. You’re a good curator and editor Keep up the great work. You worked hard on this issue, and really go to bat for poets, artists, writers in general….Thanks for the opportunity, Doug

    • Thank you so much Doug, and for finding me here, for your burst of inspirational words and such unusual art too! It does take quite some time to put all this together, especially all the arrangements, but it’s always satisfying to see the result. Thanks for being part of the garden! 😀

  5. Congratulations on another lovely issue of The Writing Garden, Suzy….it certainly is a garden! And I enjoy the fact that you featured Sara Teasdale who, I think, is a very underrated American poet. Kudos!

    • Thank you Cynthia, it’s been worth the work! 🙂 And yes, quite by chance it became more of a garden. But I like that, it’s about time The Writing Garden became a literary garden! I hadn’t thought of Sara Teasdale being underrated, I seem to see a lot of her poetry in many places, but that might be very recent. Perhaps lovers of classic poetry have tired of many of the others and are finding like, me her poetry of great interest. I thought it went so well with Kirt’s water lilies painting. Interesting, he told me (Teasdale) is the original English version of his own name (Tisdale). I thought that was a lovely coincidence. They could even be distantly related? 🙂

    • Thank you for reading this Robert, I appreciate the follow too, noticed your name in the email follows! Apologies for not being on G+ for a while. Been hard to find the time for it all lately. I shall return soon! 🙂

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