Planting The Trailing Rosemary
I’m having, in this chill, nevertheless,
to rug myself up
to write this in the air full scented.
Tea in my Southwold reminiscence mug
fragrant as an Indian Summer
here at the metal table under
a dormant growth of wisteria.
For now my fingers pulse with blood
yet it’s the quietude, the stilled air
at the dog star end of year, the very cold
in which I need to do this – cold I wish for.
This steeled implement
with its heft of wooden handle
and it’s magical open cylinder
perfecting the creation of space
for corms, in yet to be frozen tilth.
It’s easy work, simple, satisfying
the childlike precision
of bedding down the memory
the scent of rosemary
proffered to ease and appease.
Then, capturing the promise in camera
a Tuscan Summer’s evening
my little olive tree
amethyst orbs of bitterness
never to ripen,
against the contrast flame of Winter jasmine
though I do not like its yellow florescence as
a garden colour,
it pleases me with simplicity, hope.
And sweet scented Virburnam Bodnantense
a hue of new sublime pink.
So, I prune off stems with blossom
gather them to the warmth
place them in the cobalt vase – both gifts
my beloved trio offered.
its perfume will be
a push beyond cinnamon, orange, star anise
emblematic perfume of the year’s turn,
the heart’s longing for growth, small
light, love, renewal.
Although I wrote this on an early, chilly December morning in 2019, when I returned to it in December 2020, it was like a portent of what we have all experienced or have endured, during these Covid days. The Winter garden standing as a metaphor, yet again, for imposed exile, restraint, solitude, repressed growth - but carrying on tiny acts of creativity, revelling in the idea of returned sunlight, life - made way for hope, hopefully.