The Book of The Garden


One could step, I discovered, into
one’s imagination and desire as though
to a place, a world, a physical thing,
and describe it from there, in
a traveler’s notebook
of love made manifest—

how the gate glowed
and the path began right there,
on the other side of the fence, at
the property’s edge,
and rose through the weeds
up the hill, paved and elusive

with pears on one side
and apples on the other.
The sun was hot and dry, and
the late July afternoon called the
insects on a honeyed wind.
Remnants of white marble eroded

and covered my fingers with chalk;
I lay down, owner and trespasser,
interloper in earth’s dream of space,
feeling beneath me the deep layers of pine
needles, hickory nuts and bones, holding
me up, singing me home.


Overnight the garden creeps into my bedroom.
I see it in the folded covers on the bed, the
wrinkles on the pillows. The soft light
from the window lays with love over everything:
the small spiral notebook, the laptop on the desk.
This unruly garden runs everywhere!

Yesterday outside was outside, and inside
was in here, with everything I love. Today
beauty has escaped from the garden. It
infiltrates the plastic gooseneck lamp, it rests
in the shadows of a stone on my bookshelf.
Beauty is a spring flowing everywhere.

The paths from the garden stretch over the field,
through the yard, over the wet snow into the house,
right up to my chair. Flowered vines and tendrils
run rampant, every boundary is breached.
I thought of you as a book I could open and
close when I wished—but you are uncontainable!

Like an undiscovered ruin, you grow over,
you hide the past with your greenness.
Beneath lie the empty walls of old ideas and
crumbled dungeons. In the basement skeletons dance,
banging on drums and cymbals. Spring
is arriving and will not be denied!

The Heart of the world is the world without, within…

Merlinwood Books
PO Box 146
East Bloomfield NY 14443
Merlinwood Books publishes Richard Wehrman's poetry and other writings, as well as other select works.
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