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Prayer in a Garden Today the world seemed cruel, but evening hours Were filled with perfume from forgotten flowers. I saw again familiar filigree Of moonlight through my lacy Lilac tree; I heard the robins stirring in their nest; And saw the path that fairy feet had pressed; Reflected stars were in my garden pool; On my warm face the breeze was kind and cool. The silence seemed to speak, my head was bowed, Then ramblers that had grown into a cloud Lifted my eyes that, tear-washed, now could see The beauty that today was lost to me. Dear god, who is so near to flowers, and birds, Be nearer still, as I shall search for words To thank Thee for the blessings night revealed, Which through the day discouragement concealed. -EvA SPARKs TAYLOR
Wild Orchid “The flower that walks”, the Indian; said,
And walking spreads its crown-like roots Through forest glades and upland dales. Moccasin flower or Lady’s Slipper, It matters not the name Or if it be fair white or rose or tiny yellow kind Tis ever rare and wondrous there This woodland beauty Bequeathed us from another age.
A Heritage to guard with care And cherish for posterity That other eyes in future years Mav see this Orchid walk the trails As did our native Indian braves And shy eyed maidens of the tribe. -HELEN M. FLEET
WHEN RING THE BELLS Lightly fall the Rains On Heads bowed down in Grace, And now the Summer Sun Dries each upturned Face.
The Distant Bells are sparkling And sweeten Lilac air; Bright Rainbows flowing with the Wind- The Congregation stares.
Daisies, Bluebells, joined in Prayer One Summer’s windswept Day, Knowing God and all his Blessings, While with the Wind they Sway. –Dave Vahlberg 6-26-2002
Will to Live I think of all things that show a zest For life, the dandelion beats the rest. The little winged seeds from its white fluff ball Settle and grow with no urging at all. Settle in most unlikely places And soon there’s a crop of dandelion faces.
They are man’s worst pest, but a child’s playthings. Sometimes I wish I had light down wings Like a dandelion seed, and could settle at will On a velvety lawn or a sun-spread hill, And live with the eagerness and zest Of the wanton little dandelion pest. -MARY TRIPLETT
Rebirth Four days Her petals furled Gainst chilling wind and rain. Came sun-and rose disclosed her heart Purr gold -Emma Berthelot
Rainbow Treasure I have found the treasure That lies at the Rainbow’s end; Wealth beyond computing Is mine to give or lend.
Opals of an April dawn, Gold of a shimmering noon, Amethysts of the sunset, Pearls with the glow of the moon.
Would you like to share it? There’s more than enough for all In my Iris Garden Against a grey stone wall. -AGNES HAYES POST
Garden Magic This is the garden’s magic, That through the sunny hours The gardener who tends it, Himself outgrows his flowers.
He grows by gift of patience, Since he who sows must know That only in the Lord’s good time Does any seedling grow.
He learns from buds unfolding, From each tight leaf unfurled, That his own heart, expanding, Is one with all the world.
He bares his head to sunshine, His bending back a sign Of grace, and ev’ry shower becomes His sacramental wine.
And when at last his labors Bring forth the very stuff And substance of all beauty This is reward enough. -MARIE NETTLETON CARROLL
Springtime Oh, spring came to my garden And caught it unaware Wearing just a few old leaves And a dejected air.
But when spring left my garden, Its work so deftly done, Many, many Daffodils Were dancing in the sun. -Velma D. BATES.
Hillside, Narcissus There’s a grassy slope not far away Where thousands of Narcissus bloom, And I catch my breath, as I watch them sway Tossing their sweet perfume.
Gaily they nod their dear little heads And smilingly welcome me, As they spring up fresh from their winter beds, Eager for company.
Their round white faces fair and clean Are purer than frost or snow, And I thank the hands, tho’ now unseen; That planted them, long ago. -NORA MC FARLANE
Memorial I’ve had the garden tidied up, As she would have me do. This little pal who couldn’t stay To see the season through. The flowers were her dearest friends, The garden was her own, I’ve watched her work, but never knew The things that she had grown. Her, catalogues keep coming, and Her garden magazine; I run across the queerest names, And study what they mean, I read them all, from end to end, And when the spring is here, I’ll have a garden just like hers, As though my wife were near. Albert H. PEDRICK
Hen and Chickens The “Hen” is in the’ garden, And the “Chickens” are there, too; They’ve travelled far to get here, Across the ocean blue.
Of course, they do no scratching, The reason is they can’t; They’re not like other chickens, For they are just a plant. -JOHN CARROLL
The Garden Across the road a garden grew, And bent among the flowers, A spare old man stooped to his task Or he sat and dreamed for hours.
He had slaved away his early youth In a pharmacy day and night. A pallid drudge year in, year out, He was starved for color and light.
He had no time for romance, He grew to shun mankind. Too stingy to spend emotion, He closed his heart and mind.
He reaped the fruits of frustration, In that dull round of care. A life out of doors, the learned man said, Might bring surcease from despair.
The gay nasturtiums stirred his heart, Velvet dahlias woke his pride The roses he loved like children, The lily was his bride.
He left this mortal plane long since, But the garden calls him still: He walks there when the moon is low, A bent form, dim and chill. -FRANCES STRAWN LIVINGSTON
Laughter When a gauzy, purple butterfly, Softly tilts a golden flower, It’s cool wings ease the summer flame As laughter sooths a troubled hour. -COURTNEY E. Cottam
Day’s End The twilight comes to cool the. air, The shadows lengthen on the sod, Soft breezes blow the garden through, The leaves and blossoms sway and nod.
On garden path, in sheltering hedge, In treetops dark and cloudless sky, The evening birds awake to life, To stir; to sing and upward fly. And flowers, warm with summer heat, Expand to greet the softened light And shed, to show their gratitude, A fragrance in the summer night. Now all is peace. From meadows near A cooling mist blows o’er the wall And strangely lonesome in the night There comes the thrush’s silvery call. -EDWIN W. PROCTOR
Garden Overtones Gay visitors invade the bordered path; Some rest on ageratum’s downy blue Some tap the, honeyed dew Deep in Dresden cups; A few
Float lazily through shafts of summer sun. Yellow ones, brown ones,, bronze and midnight blue Silver stippled, gold edged, In rainbow rendezvous.
One golden day The Artist Gathered grace and luster and light, And made in:endless surprise, Unbelievable Butterflies. -THEODOSIA E. Fenner
Crape Myrtle As lovely as soft bits of fragile crinkled silk, These rosy blossoms, clustered thick upon the heavy drooping boughs, When shaken by a summer wind, Drop down in swirling showers, And drift awhile about the ground; Then gathered into frothy heaps beneath the hedge, They spread a frill of rosy lace around the green lawns edge. – LEDA CLEMENTS
The Gardener’s Morning The robin’s song at daybreak Is a clarion call to me.Get up and get out in the garden, For the morning hours flee.
I cannot resist the summons, What earnest gardener could? For the golden hours of morning Get into the gardener’s blood.
The magic spell is upon me, I’m glad that I did not wait; For life’s at its best in the morning, As you pass through the garden gate. – Howard Dolf
Unaware There is no greater loss in life to man, Than being unaware at early dawn Of Earth’s awakening from a silver; mist Shot through with golden threads of breaking morn.
There is no greater sorrow in the world, Than eyes unseeing, color everywhere, Or ears unhearing, softly wafted notes From Nature’s great cathedral of the air.
There is no soul so dead as one of these, Whose voyage leads through empty life, where hearts Are veiled in darkness, claiming not the treasures, Which Nature’s beauty to the world imparts. -MABEL G. AUSTIN
Garden Sanctuary You who walk, Maybe with troubled thoughts, Come, enter here and rest; And may the sweet serenity of growing things, And the heavenly,peace Be mirrored in they soul. -Doxis M. Palmer
Retribution Who would a growing thing uproot, Deny it right to bring forth fruit, Tears more than beauty from the sod, He rends his sour in sight of God. – GEORGIA BERRY HENLEY
Vespers The golden sun has gone, the busy day is done. Twilight has come and with it peace draws near To dwell an hour .within my garden walls, while in The lambent sky the first pale stars appear. The wheeling shadows that so slowly marked the hours Have left no impress on the tender grass, Nor does the air hold fast the patterns bold and free That winging birds weave as the warm days pass. The rued pool is stilled at last, and Lily buds Prepare to open gently to the night And to the questing moth whose fragile, gauzy wings Quiver too rapidly for human sight. In. this tranquillity, touch, hearing, sight are lulled. I am as selfless as the scented airs That wrap me round, while daylight’s drowsy flowers Send out the fragrance of? their vesper prayers.
-MARIE NETTLETON CARROLL
Dew-Drops Our garden in the morning Is a display of precious gems; One can see the Roses holding Shining crystals, jewels hidden By the fleeing night Between Red folds of velvet. -MILDRED L. ELLIOTT
The Rose Above Joppa, in the pasture-land of Sharon, God set, a Rose It blossomed, even as the rod of Aaron; The wild bee gathered honey from its cup . . And then man .came, and took the flower up And labored to improve it, year by year, A petal there another petal here A color deeper than the tubes of God Had furnished, when He set it in the sod, A leaf more rank, arid varnished thorn and stem Until, at last, it was a perfect flower, Fit to adorn even nature’s diadem. And God looked on, remembering The hills, of Palestine above the plain The flower lie set to mark the ages’ dawn, Root, brier and thorn; and Autumn’s scarlet hip, And said: ”’Tis well! my work man carries on; Behold the product of our partnership.” -FLORENCE Boucle DAMS
Prize Entry-Flower Show A strange half-folded Lily, white and slim, Frail mosses leaning on a white bowl’s rim; Exotic water plants and small white shells Fashion in miniature a sandless reef. A Chinese Mandarin of whitest jade Gazes, unseeing, in scornful disbelief.
HELEn BAYLEY DAVIS
Winged Jewel (The Huming, Bird) Feathered fire of emerald . Aflashing through the air, Its throat a glowing jewel, A ruby solitaire.
Intrepid wings are whirring In airy, fairy flight, Careening through the sunshine, A scintillating sprite.
Then pendant o’er flower It dips its dainty hill And gathers honeyed nectar From flowery cup and frill.
Now darting, swiftly turning, It seeks the trumpet vine, A little tropic jewel Aflame with nectared wine. -CORA L. CONE
At Dawn I slipped into the garden Almost before ’twas light, As the lazy sun arose I glimpsed a charming sight… Red Poppy flung her cap aside, Shook out her silken skirt; The way she danced with a young breeze Told me she was a flirt! -MARY C. SHAW
Weeder’s Thoughts I have raked the soil and planted the seeds Now I’ve joined the army that fights the weeds. For me no flashing saber and sword, To battle the swiftly marching horde; With a valiant heart I fight the foe, My only weapon a trusty hoe. No martial music to swing me along, I march to the robin redbreast song. No stirring anthem of bugle and drum But the cricket’s chirp and the honey bee’s hum. No anti-aircraft or siren yell But there’s Trumpet-creeper and Lily-bell. With a loving heart and a sturdy hand, I defend the borders of flower-land; While high over Larkspur and Leopardsbane, A butterfly pilots his tiny plane; But I shall not fear his skillful hand, My enemy charges only by land. Would those who lead nations in war and hate But lay down their guns at some garden gate, There, bury- their bombs and their bloody deeds, And join the grand army that’s fighting the weeds. -ALMA B. Eymann
Sunflowers Walls of gold encircle Pasturelands and plains, Rimming hills and meadows, Edging country lanes.
Skirting cloistered forests, Girdling fen and down, Bordering the roadsides, Shutting in the town.
Concentrated splendor Of the year they hold, Fortresses enclosing Summer’s garnered gold. -ELIZABETH E. BARNES
Canterbury Bells Long years ago devoted folk Sought Canterbury’s well-known shrine, That in this church they might invoke Saint Thomas for a heavenly sign. And as they trod each rang a bell For symbol of their pilgrim aim, While all along the way the spell Of nodding blossoms caused acclaim. Today these flowers still are true To the old title which they bear. Swinging their bells, pink, white or blue, With unheard pealings through the air. –EDITH M. LARRABEE
Hummingbird Won’t you stop a minute While I note your color? Dash and flutter thin it; Trembling makes it duller.
You are like a petal Summer winds are blowing, Far too light to settle- Ah, must you be going? –EVA WILLES WANGSGAARD
The White Trillium Trillium graceful, Trillium white, Star of the woodland, Lady of light Lo, how she prou!ily Stands in the glade, Tri-sceptred sovereign, Queen of the shade. Stately she rises, Slender-stemmed, tall, Gracious response to Spring’s early call, Lifting three leaf-arms High from the sod, Gazing with pure face lip at her god. –Milena Matcska
Reverie A warm and cheery fire roars merrily And shadows dance about the darkened room. Beside the hearth a gardener sits and dreams Of sunny days, of flowers in full bloom. Some hollyhocks should tower near the fence, Bright red. ones that the bees can’t help but find. The trellis at the gate again must wear Blue morning glories, or the rosy kind. To lend a bit of distance to the scene, Close to the rear I’ll plant in shades of blue: The tall and stately larkspur, double ones Of course I’ll put in scabiosa, too. I couldn’t do without a pansy bed Snapdragons make such beautiful bouquets Frilled zinnias and yellow marigolds Add just the proper touch to autumn days. The flowers grow and bloom with loveliness Until a sound destroys the fantasy A burning ember falls and I must leave My garden and my charming reverie. -HELEN BATH SWANSON
Inner Food I never let a full day pass Without a touch of leaf or grass, And never sunset goes but I Must cool my lips against the sky.
For life grows acrid as a ‘sloe As less and less of earth we know; And life grows hollow as a reed Without some earth on which to feed.
Earth is no friend we may forget. For she and man are intimate, And when the years pile up and leave The little graves at which we grieve,
He, who has kept this nutrient link With God, has inner food and drink; Has more of faith and less of dearth, And one true friend, the constant Earth. -EVA WILLES WANGSGAARD
Trees Trees are joy inspiring In those first sweet days of May Stretching forth their lacy tendrils To entice the lark to stay. Trees are gracious, charming When glossed with summer sheen They catch the vagrant breezes And spread their shady green. . And somehow in the Autumn When the magic touch of time Has clad these trees in russet-gold We sense a hand divine. Yet Trees in winter fascinate When their gaunt, nude forms arise And trace in grotesque patterns, Silhouettes against the skies. -C. H. BOLTON
Winter Embroidery The snow upon the hillsides Makes them like great flour sacks On which the birds and animals Have cross-stitched with their tracks. -THELMA IRELAND
What Is a Tree? What is a tree” Well doubtless he Who dwells in city streets by choice May never know. But souls that breathe expanding life outdoors Know trees as brothers, friends; and feel aglow With kindred fellowship and common voice.
Yes, bees do know And birds have made The trees their lifelong homes And what is nearer or more intimately ours than home?
What is a tree? The soul of God! Whose budding leaves and blossoms in the Spring Bespeak Creation. Whose shade in Summer cools The burning heat of life and brings us peace; Whose bronzing colors in the Autumn landscape glow With pride of fruitfulness, God’s bounty, man’s maturity. Whose bare strong arms in Winter steadfast hold Against- the ice and storms of life when courage sags When green and sap of youth have lost their bold Firm power and interest lags.
What is a tree? Oh! Yes, I know! ‘Tis God. ‘Tis His own way to speak His majesty, His voice, His power, His love, His mystery.. -G. THoMAs DUNLOP Angels in My Garden Among my gift begonias Is one called “Angel-wing”, So true to form I fancy I hear the seraphs sing. For surely higher beings Inspired the, friendly hearts Of my new next-door neighbors To give me these “new starts”.
O Angels, hover always About this garden spot! Help- me to share life’s blossoms With those who have them not! And from your shining wing-tips Shake fragrance for the hearts Of beauty-hungry thousands Today, who need new starts! -IRENE STANLEY
He Knows No Winter He knows no winter, he who loves the soil, For, stormy days, when he is free from toil, He plans his summer crops, selects his seeds From bright-paged catalogues for garden needs. When looking out upon frost-silvered fields, He visualizes autumn’s golden yields; He sees in snow and sleet and icy rain Precious moisture for his early grain; He hears spring-heralds in the storm’s ‘ turmoil He knows no winter, he who loves the soil. -SUDIE STUART HAGER
The Lilt o’ the Year A melancholy mantle rests Upon the land; the sea. The wind in tristful cadence moans A mournful threnody. There flits no gleeful insect, No blithesome bee nor bird; 0’er all the vast of Nature No joyful sound is heard. In garments sere and somber Each, vine and tree is clad: It’s dreary-hearted winter, And all the earth is sad.
In festal robes, bright garlanded; A-lilt comes laughing Spring; From fragrant meadow calls the lark; The butterfly’s awing; On hill and plain the wildflowers, To crown the sweet event, Have donned, in mood elated, Their gay habiliment; In garments viridescent Each vine and tree is clad It’s happy-hearted springtime, And all the earth is glad! -HAZEL DELL CRANDALL
Evening Hours The dusk has little gateways That lead to pleasant homes Enveloped in the soft light Before the darkness comes.
Each home is in a garden Alight with vivid blooms, And there are fragrant posies In all the restful rooms.
They are so cool and quiet, After the hectic day, After the crowded hours That rush us on our way.
They are the little havens Where we may turn to sit And rest us in a leisure The day could not permit. -ELLA C.Forbes
My Choice In all my garden’s length and breadth I like these common things A sturdy, low-branched apple tree Where, daily, a finch sings; The clematis that trims: the fence With garlands of white lace; The maidenhair and Ostrich ferns That fill each shady; space; The fragrance of quaint mignonette When touched with evening dew And best of all I like grass pinks Like those my mother grew. -VELMA D. BATES
Indoor Gardener A February wind blows dismally, The sky is full of dark clouds hanging low, The garden lies in numbed frigidity And waits the falling of another snow.
Today, I planted seeds despite the cold, For my tomato plants will mind it not Their tiny leaves will presently unfold At my south window; in a flower pot! -HELEN BATH SWANSON
Garden: South Freeport In the garden where your mother sat mending the torn sail laundry flaps deliriously. The boat is in dry dock.
You are sole mistress of this place, counting the deer among the asparagus, bare feet heedless of ticks.
Over the porch, a wasp’s nest breeds while an oriole pecks the fallen peach. It is summer once again, the season at its fevered work—
small calamities in the grass, weeds encroaching on dianthus, ant struggling with a skeletal bee, the rock garden dry and gray.
A trowel gleams in the sun, but the air is charged with storm. Gravity pulls the rosy heads down. It will not do to work today.
From the harbor, unseen, a wind whips up the speckled iris and lifts the veiled curtains of the nonagenarian’s tilting house.
The first drops dampen the gardener at midlife, who hefts a basket of weeds, pausing to take root and stock. -Carol Alexander
Grass By Michael C. Walker
Oh green, vibrant rich thatch of earth, so perfectly cut, each blade precise; As tufts of cyan and amber sprout wild and feral in an unruly tangle. My hapless endeavor, with tool in hand, against weed and root I wrangle. The sun on my back, a head drenched in sweat, weariness grows, perhaps heat stroke, or maybe death. To quench my thirst I reach for one tall glass, though, if it were my druthers, I’d settle for a lawn full of green grass.
“A Gardeners Outlook on Life” by Laurie Jo DeGrave 2003
Take up the spade with song. Nurture early on. Be fervent while you plot. Chart the spot. Prune with certainty and care. Growth stops there. Patience, patience, time to grow. Reap what you sow. Hardly the Garden of Eden? Thankful for another season.