I put the last Poem to Hang in a Walled Garden onto the Poet Tree, and took a few photos of it today. Thank you Linda Eve Diamond.
Then Frances arrived from Scottish Poetry Library, and I began to realise that actually there were lots of people in the Garden who’d come to listen to our ‘Goodbye Garden Poet’ event.
In fact the room filled, and we fetched more chairs, and people perched on tables, and eventually stood. But everyone passed along cups of tea, and trays of cakes and cream scones. It was very friendly and informal, with a great turnout of my neighbours from Port Logan (who’ve been providing me with fresh veg and home-baking this month), several families, lots of staff from the garden, the shop and the cafe here at Logan, and some contributing poets who’d travelled to be here today – Nancy McGuffog and Rita Bradd.
I shared as many poems as I decently felt we could in the time. We enjoyed the Stepping Stones poem again (an enduring favourite), Isa from Eucador’s poem ‘Five Stars’, poems from the Gunnera Bog, poems from the lily pond, Nancy’s poem about the Wollemi Pine, Rita’s Poem to Hang in a Walled Garden and many more.
Thank you so much, everyone on the staff at Logan Botanic Garden, the SPL and RBGE for creating Walking With Poets, and all the many visitors who’ve made my month such a joy.
What’s left of Logan Ladies Walk. There is stone-laid path under the deep leaf litter.
Today I went in search of the Ladies Walk. Many moons ago, the ladies of Logan House did go for strolls down through the woodland edge beyond the Garden, down to Port Logan, where there is still a stone bathing hut. Here they put on their sturdy ankle-length bathing finery and paddled into the sea. But what’s left of their path this August was impassable. Within 25 yards of this photo, it was a mass of chest-high bracken and nettles. Your correspondent was beaten back, breathless, covered in goosegrass, and lightly stung. I know where the other end is though. I have a draft poem underway. Something like:
‘The Ladies step out neatly/ on the cobbles./ The dark leaf litter does not/ stain their handmade shoes./ Their shades are ankle-deep and brambles/ snag their hems, but they don’t stop./ Their voices cling to space between the trees.’
Poet Tree poem from Maria Theresa Maggi
Here is the latest (perhaps last) poem to go on the Poet Tree. Thank you Maria Theresa Maggi, from USA, who sent it to us. And I thought I’d post a poem about the Poet Tree by one of our youngest Garden Poets this August, Matilda, aged 8.
The home of all the poems
with its twisty branches.
All the poems on the tree
in the breeze.
And I walked around the garden with lovely D&G poets Renita and Kriss, reading out our roughest drafts in search of pearls. Which we found. And sharing with them, and others, some of the many rich, funny, sad, subtle poems that Logan’s visitors have written in the last few weeks.
Back on Friday – my last day!
My truly lovely (birth)day in the Garden began with a soft grey walk in the morning, before the visitors, just listening to the muted sounds of gardeners at work. Then I sat down near the Poet Tree, and made some notes for poem drafts I’m working on, breaking off every so often to chat to visitors as they arrived. We read the Poet Tree together, and sometimes I read them more garden poems – some very well known and others written here at Logan this month.
The Bennetts writing poetry in the Yurt today.
Anne and Bill Bennett from Cumbria ended up sort of having lunch with me, talking and reading poems together. Then they came back to the Yurt and wrote some. They left us with sensitive lines like:
‘I see the lily pads at Logan
and my mind goes
You go into other gardens, that’s
what happens.’ Bill
The Bog, The Bog
The Gunnera Bog
Then lovely Renita turned up, and fell hook, line and sinker for the Gunnera Bog. We had terrific fun crawling into its depths, exploring the rest of the garden, reading the poems on the Poet Tree – and then retiring to the Yurt so Renita could write her barnstormer of a Bog Poem. Click on it to make it bigger!
Renita under the Gunnera
We read the Poet Tree
… as the wonderful Matilda (8) wrote today, is the Poet Tree. We hung more poems from its branches this morning, and it’s lovely to see people going up to it and reading poem after poem.
I’ve run out of red ribbon (but more is on the way, never fear). And there are lots of new poems to put up there. Watch this twig.
Children reading the Poet Tree today
Clouds chase the moon down
The Poet Tree today
Logan sunshine greeted the Walking With Poets launch today of ‘Poems to Hang in a Walled Garden’, to go on this beautiful Snow Gum Eucalyptus tree, must be one of the finest designated Poet Trees on the planet.
So please send us your poems! We’re looking for ‘Poems to Hang in a Walled Garden’. They should be short, up to 6 lines. We will hang them from the Poet Tree.
FB them to us, send via comment on the blog, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.