The Garden Shed of Passion


Plant pots upended, half-germinated seeds tumble,

in a rush to find an edge, an inkling of solid ground.

Putrid soil tingles after winter’s long repose.

It spills out of gutted bags,

covers fingers, boots and staining

trousers, nails, knotted hair.

The watering can leaks, remembering days

when they preferred it to the hose.

Hot/ cold/ on/ off

I don’t know where are whose limbs.

Bulbs clutched closely in sweaty palms,

cold the shiver and tremble in air so thick

you can cut it in chunky slices

if your knife would just stop shaking.

Crunch of snail-shell, trodden and discarded –

Quick, no time to bend down and recover!

Just tidy those dusty scissors, ravel the twine, drop gloves in slurry piles,

anything to stop the hurrying of time’s wingless spider legs.

Those seedlings need mulching, you know, to turn into flower.

When the fire’s petered out

we remember in the corner

a rusty wheelbarrow.


Wheelbarrow on Ebay.
Wheelbarrow on Ebay.

A rather literal interpretation of the ‘seeding’ prompt that Shanyn has given us over at dVerse Poets. I was thinking today of how each of my actions, even more than my words, seeds thoughts and reactions in my own two children. I only hope they turn out to be flowers, not weeds… And from raising children, it seemed only a little jump to the making of children… Not that I ever had a garden shed, you understand…

22 thoughts on “The Garden Shed of Passion”

  1. Marina Sofia – I love that analogy! And what I find particularly powerful here is the sense of the past haunting the present. Our own memories really do affect the way we raise our children, don’t they? And you capture it beautifully.

  2. our children will not fall so far from the tree…even when we are not intentionally teaching them, they are watching and will mold their lives and gardens in similar ways…i feel for the watering can, put away for something easier, instead of being patched…and its brother the rusty wheelbarrow…smiles.

  3. time’s wingless spider legs… i like… and you know… i think if a gardener has passion and the right heart- and mindset, it will make a big difference – and maybe makes up as well for lack of knowledge… esp. when it comes to raising kids

    1. Reference of course to Andrew Marvell’s ‘time’s winged chariot hurrying near’ – something I am always acutely aware of, somewhere in the background…

  4. I believe that whatever you do will eventually resound with your children and have an impact on the kind of person they turn into. Yet, I think it is impossible to predict what it is that will leave an imprint on them.

  5. Three daughters now grown, five grandchildren later, and I can only marvel at the influences that manifest themselves today, seeds planted decades ago. Like Claudia, I like the line /anything to stop the hurrying of time’s wingless spider legs/ your poem a trifecta of lyrical, literal, & symbolic.

  6. We had a professor in agronomy tell us a weed was only a plant that was a) growing where it wasn’t helpful or b) a plant whose value wasn’t truly known yet! Weeds are okay… 🙂

  7. Yes, the cycle of seeding and reaping – in nature, in families, so powerful. Well said. This also brings me to those that have been abused and abandoned and yet have the wisdom and the strength to break the chain and be better than their parents were them.

  8. Actions certainly speak louder than words, for everyone, but especially children. Literal interpretation or not, this had a great message contained within.

  9. I love the metaphor as applied to children ~ I like this part as it takes a lot of patience to care for them ~

    Those seedlings need mulching, you know, to turn into flower.

  10. Very well expressed Marina, I like the links to family. Though we have a wheelbarrow my dad in his wisdom painted blue and red some years ago as well as every garden implement he could find he painted green.

  11. This is a precise allegory of how it is… the saplings growing into trees.. (and hopefully you can sit in the shadow one day enjoying the fruits)… and the rusty wheelbarrow will not be significant in the end.

  12. There are definitely rewards in gardening…in the earth as well as with one’s children. One never really knows what seeds that are planted will really take root and grow.

  13. I think that wheelbarrow and watering can will be there when needed. Meanwhile, I plant too–or did–and sometimes forgot that I helped time flow, that I was teaching, that summer is way too short.

  14. “Those seedlings need mulching, you know, to turn into flower”

    Once I had a nice garden, your words brought back many memories.

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