I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

4 April 2012

Sorry / Not Sorry

I got your special soil.
The instructions were scary:
handle only with gloves, do not breathe in.
But if that was what you needed....

I draped long strands of coloured beads
around your pots, one each,
set crystals on top of the earth
and bright statuettes nearby.

I conversed with you,
tended you with Reiki,
gave you both water and wine.
It wasn’t my fault.

I even brought you inside at night
to keep you safe from nibbling gekkos.
When I stopped, for the dirt on the floor,
I used magick instead. Not one bite!

But after a certain point
you not only failed to thrive,
you developed wet black marks
up your sides, a kind of rot.

So I took action. Now your carcases
lie in my cast iron cauldron
waiting to be ceremonially burned.
I’ll accord you that respect.

Was it because I never
took things one step further?
Did you crave intimacy,
that ultimate merging of selves?

Yes, I know your sacred purpose,
but I’m sorry, I don’t do that.
I’m such an addict! Therefore
restraint is my middle name.

I’m sorry you sickened
but I didn’t do it. Tomorrow
we shall have the burning time.
I won’t be sorry to finally get it done.

April PAD Challenge #3: Apology and/or Unapologetic.

Also submitted for dVerse Open Link Night #38


  1. heck rosemary...this is awesome...prob. my fav by you i read so far...this can be a metaphor for so much...restraint is my middle name...tended you with Reiki,
    gave you both water and wine....oh really...just love it from first to last line..

  2. Oh, how lovely to get such a comment immediately after posting. Thank you!

  3. you know...there are some plants i just cant grow...and there are others i just can not kill...and you certainly sound like you cared for them..smiles..

  4. Oh, how sad, to love it and try so hard only to still lose it. I'm not green fingered at all, but, I did learn that some plants like to be watered via the top and others like to sit in it and drink it up slowly but, you can drown them by over watering too. Or else, it just wasn't happy :(
    Well, you can't say you didn't try. :)

  5. There were three individual plants (cacti). I suspect that really they didn't like the new environment after we moved. They had grown splendidly at the previous home.

  6. Love these lines...I conversed with you,
    tended you with Reiki,
    gave you both water and wine.
    It wasn’t my fault.


  7. Plants(and many many other things) go their own way, and one does what one can to provide what they need--beyond that...who knows the why. I really like this one, the reasonable regret combined with no apology is a great defiant take, and the actual language is simple in that way that becomes doubly complex once you think a bit. Good stuff, Rosemary.

  8. Maybe the Marys in nursery rhymes can tend their gardens well, but I can only manage to grow dandelions in my yard. This was a solid write, really enjoyed it!

  9. This could be a love...but as a gardener with a brown thumb, I recognize the story line. I love this so much. It made me laugh so hard. I relate to all the effort and the "did I not do something" scenario.

  10. An utterly charming poem, which I read through first as a metaphorical ode to a lover, and then as a naturalistic piece in the vein of Mary Oliver. It worked wonderfully both ways, and I'm bookmarking this as one of my favourite poems.

  11. Many thanks, all. As it is very new, it's a delightful surprise to find that it goes down so well. :)

    Sam, it was written as a naturalistic piece, but I have things going on in my life, to do with my husband's health, which could well have sparked metaphors from the subconscious.

  12. Apart from the many layers in this poem, which are fascinating, I wonder if you had put your ear to the cactus leaves and you might have heard them singing one of my Michael Jackson favourites: "Leave me alo---ne, leave me alohohone..."
    I often find neglects gets rewarded :-)

  13. There's a special ceremonial/sacred and earthy feel to this poem. Like someone said, filled with so many layers (and love and parting). I really enjoyed reading this poem, Rosemary!!

  14. Oh dear--Methinks you dost protest too much! The best intentions can't always get the desired results! You tried! (And made a charming poem out of it.) K.

  15. Very lovely...at first I wasn't sure of the subject, but towards the end, it all comes together. I don't have a green thumb either but some plants do need a lot of care ~