Poetic Gardener by Mark Totterdell

Book This Patter of Traces

THE GARDEN WANTS TO BE A FOREST

H Willow stakes,
pushed undead
into earth,
burst
like green fireworks
when my back
is turned,
plum tree suckers
shoot underground
and pop up
quicker
than I
can snip them off,
and wave
after wave
of ash keys
paratrooped in,
and now all
the embedded saplings
are giving me
the black-nailed finger.


VOLE
This is my good life,
making the veg plot ready,
sun blessing skin,
clumps of rough grass to tidy,
but there are its berry-black eyes
and its nut-brown body.
It looks like a cartoon chum
or a tiny teddy.
It freezes in fear, then runs.
Now I’m the baddy.


COLOSSUS

They flee from me,
the wordless creatures.
My feet are thunder,
my tools make craters,
I am some God,
or Goya’s Colossus,
the Giant, the Ogre,
a Putin, a Potus…
simpler than speech,
they move to my neighbours’
plots, past the unmarked
grass-fuzzed borders.

by Mark Totterdell c 2014

(Published by Oversteps Books )