DAY 39 – WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO US NOW?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“POEMS ARE MADE BY FOOLS LIKE ME …”

One of the few bonuses in this world wide lockdown is that we are all now able to take pleasure from beautiful birdsong.

And that was true for me too until last weekend when our dear neighbour decided to cut down a magnificent tree in his back garden.  Apologies for not knowing what tree it actually was. Suffice to say it was beautiful.  I would lie in bed and look at it swaying in the breeze, watching the birds flying to and fro from its branches. I had often thought that if I ever became so ill that I had to remain in bed that, at least, I would have this wonderful tree to enjoy.

Alas, no more.  A group of men – not socially distancing naturally – have been noisily working on the tree all week.  We have been unable to sit outside in this unseasonably good weather because of the ear splitting noise from their chainsaws. (The sound of their tools reminds me that I am well overdue for an appointment at the dentist.)  To make matters worse, we have had the incessant sound of their tinny pop music plus having to put up with all their mindless banter which passes for conversation.

Today the tree has gone. Disappeared. It as if it was never there. But the noise continues as they saw up the branches so that all the debris can all be transported away.  Aside from the tragic loss of this ancient tree – which I am sure would have been under a  preservation order or suchlike – I think of the loss to all the wildlife who must have made it their home.

I remembered this poem, “Trees”, by Alfred Joyce Kilmer who was killed in action in 1918. At least, I remembered the first two lines. The remainder I had to look up.

 

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

 

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

 

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

 

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 

 

With the advent of Covid-19 most of us have no doubt been going through all the stages of grief.  Denial, anger, depression and acceptance. The loss of this magnificent tree has made me feel quite bereft. It is a form of bereavement perhaps made even more intense by what we are all currently experiencing.

At any other time, OH (other half) and I would probably would have made a fuss – protested to our neighbour or to the local authority in one way or another.  Because this tree, like all the trees in the nearby gardens, was meant to be protected. Preserved. Left alone.

But now one thinks. Get over it. It’s not a human being. However beautiful it was, it was only a tree.

Much better to get upset over the estimated 178,658 thousand human beings who have died so far from Covid-19.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

 

 

 

Simple pleasures

Two years ago today I lost a very dear friend.  Whenever I think of her – which is often – I think of her in her garden. She got the greatest pleasure from the simplest things.  A flower growing between the cracks on her terrace. A patch of earth where she could plant something new. She loved nothing more than pottering in her garden, getting things to grow.

I wrote this poem for her.

 

Frankie’s garden

As I walk round her garden

Frankie is with me

She is there in the whispering grass

And the poppies growing so free

Last year, I said, the earth was bare

And now the flowers have grown

Last year, she said, I was still here

But now you are alone

A robin came to say hello

We wanted him to stay

He sang a song and then was gone

Like me he’s flown away, she said

Like me he’s flown away.

grass pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In memory of FH who passed away on 5th April, 2016.

May her memory be a blessing.

 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

 

 

Seeds of friendship

Most of us know the poem by William Wordsworth which begins –

“I wandered lonely as a cloud … ”

Here is my version – a lighthearted take on the original. I hope you like it.

 

To Hollyhocks

I wandered barefoot in the sun

Having taken off my socks

And all at once I came upon

A clump of golden Hollyhocks

 

I pocketed some tiny seeds

They flew with me on Easyjet

I scattered them among my weeds

And with myself I had a bet

 

Could I get these seeds to grow

Among my dandelion clocks

And if they did how would I know

That these were truly Hollyhocks

 

A few months on a fabulous sight

Hollyhocks of every hue

It looks like I did something right

And then I gave some seeds to you

 

And then as quickly as they came

My flowers disappeared from sight

I looked for them but all in vain

They had just vanished overnight

 

I think my gardener was to blame

Mistook them for some flowering weeds

My garden didn’t look the same

And I hadn’t even kept the seeds

 

Then you and I met up for lunch

And I told you this tale of woe

Ah you said I have a hunch

That I still have some seeds you know

 

You kindly posted seeds to me

Just like the ones I once gave you

When you were here with friends for tea

Such a thoughtful thing to do

 

What goes around comes around they say

It looks like we will prove this true

And who knows maybe come next May

I’ll have more seeds to give to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

 

Friendship

 

Recently I lost a very dear friend.  She was seldom happier than when she was in her garden.

I have written this poem for her.

 

Frankie’s garden

 

As I walk round her garden

Frankie is with me

She is there in the whispering grass

And the poppies growing so free

Last year, I said, the earth was bare

And now the flowers have grown

Last year, she said, I was still here

But now you are alone

A robin came to say hello

We wanted him to stay

He sang a song and then was gone

Like me he’s flown away, she said

Like me he’s flown away.

grass pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems