Monday, 4 July 2011



The garden has frothed over into spring;
Carolina jessamine, the jasmine of a thousand yellow bells,
has grown up into the plum trees
winding and twining to the top
 crowning all the white plum blossom with alien yellow.
 The perfume hangs exotic and the jasmine trails
 across the garden gate into the apricot-coloured rose
 hiding the blackbirds nest which my neighbour would destroy with a stick
 given half the chance.

 I put out the end of the loaf on the lawn.
The mynahs ate it, squabbling and fighting,
forgetting to look for worms on the mulch by the drive.
Yet it is not good to feed wild things,
 lest they become dependent on our transient ways.
 Even the magpie comes to rest on the verandah rail
 making me aware of his murderous beak .
I will not give in to him or I will have no peace.
But the magpie carols for springtime,
piping one tentative note at sunrise.

 For the first time ever, for the first spring after five years in this house
when I go out in the morning I say thanks for the garden ,
for the things that flower which might not have flowered
for the things which have withstood neglect and change and drought
 for those which have waited patiently through my lost days,
 which have given themselves to the possums and the marauding snails,
 to the hacking secateurs and long-handled pruning shears,
to the bamboo stakes and plastic twine.

They have grown to laugh in my face
 with their abundance sprawling over the brick retaining wall,
over the fence and the gate and the gutters of the roof.
 The scent of blood-and-bone greets me,
 and the wet grass in the evening,
and the transcendent  flaunting of the perfumed ,
yellow jessamine bells. 





Never too old!