Repost: The Man Who Gave Me Flowers

I was feeling sorry for myself when I thought of the man who gave me flowers.

He said very little, saw such a lot, couldn’t read but was a master of growing.

He had barely avoided being lost in a mine shaft and had suffered a nervous breakdown over climbing ladders; but in retirement he made a real living out of pottering and obsessing—never lonelier, never happier, never available to anything but his bliss.

His specialties were sweet peas and chrysanthemums, the latter daisy-like or pompon-shaped and enormous like the inedible onions he also won prizes for. But the former were unwritten poetry: long-stemmed, crepe-papery, candy-colored and as sweetly scented.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

He sowed them early and prayed for gentle rain, cool sunshine and uneventful nights. He trained them up bamboo poles, tying them loosely so it was their idea to reach upwards. Suckers were cut off to ensure long strong stems; so were the tendrils that could make a mess of his plans. As the buds appeared he shielded them against the weather; as they blossomed he cut and arranged them in green metal vases with narrow bases and wide brims. The first crop over, he knew how to get another, folding the stalks down, a trick that fooled them into thinking they had to begin again.

They brought him visitors, a little cash (kept under his mattress) and a lot of praise, satisfaction and disbelief, and frustration because he couldn’t bear to waste his time on such things.

He never made me feel unwelcome, giving me a special bouquet he had put aside.  I had nothing to say but “thank you, it’s beautiful.”

All I really knew of him were the flowers he gave me.

I have sweet peas in my garden now, allowed free reign by my laziness, with suckers and tendrils, reaching and falling, rain soaked and wind broken, encouraged and burned by the sun, yet somehow as perfect as the ones he grew.

About that he maintains a heavenly silence.

 

This was first posted June 2013.

Alas, this year, some critters ate my sweet peas before they had a chance to climb and wander and flower.

 I have planted nothing but memories in their place.

Maybe next year …



donatellasmallest

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Growing Unaware

Time for some simple appreciation of the world springing to life, the long harsh winter already a distant memory. I don’t think I’ve ever posted an undoctored scan of a page out of one of my old journals. Here’s one I did many years ago in England (even before the original version of A Friendship with Flowers), all these flowers still enlightening me decades later here in Western New York, USA.

From 'Another Year', done in 1980's. Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

From ‘Another Year’, done in the 1980’s. Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

On my windowsill

are Windflowers

from the open woodland;

Kingcups from the waterside;

the first buds of Buttercups,

spotted Lungwort

and birds eye

Forget-me-nots

from my garden

as if unaware

I let them grow there.

 

“Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself.  When you look at it or hold it & let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you.  Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.  This is what great artists sense and succeed in conveying in their art.  Van Gogh didn’t say: “That’s just an old chair.”  He looked, and looked, and looked.  He sensed the Beingness of the chair.  Then he sat in front of the canvas and took up the brush.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Tears and Sun – Repost (with something new)

I am reposting this poem and illustration – adding a painting of my mom’s, which I had never seen before last night. It is so very different from mine; I even think it fits my poem better.

And before the month is out, I just had to post something from June!

Yellow RoseFind me a yellow rose
In bud and blossom
and withering too;
Give me its thorny prose
needing tears and sun
with nothing to do.

Leave me its secret blush
hiding love and loss
and dried up hope;
Compare me to its hush
speaking true and false
with a heart to cope.

There in the garden
to live without picking;
red rose to pardon
that drinks without sipping.

Vase and Yellow Roses by June resized

Copyright 2013 by Diane’s mom, June

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

The Man Who Gave Me Flowers

I was feeling sorry for myself when I thought of the man who gave me flowers.

He said very little, saw such a lot, couldn’t read but was a master of growing.

He had barely avoided being lost in a mine shaft and had suffered a nervous breakdown over climbing ladders; but in retirement he made a real living out of pottering and obsessing—never lonelier, never happier, never available to anything but his bliss.

His specialties were sweet peas and chrysanthemums, the latter daisy-like or pompon-shaped and enormous like the inedible onions he also won prizes for. But the former were unwritten poetry: long-stemmed, crepe-papery, candy-colored and as sweetly scented.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

He sowed them early and prayed for gentle rain, cool sunshine and uneventful nights. He trained them up bamboo poles, tying them loosely so it was their idea to reach upwards. Suckers were cut off, which bothered him a little but ensured long strong stems; so were the tendrils that could make a mess of his plans. As the buds appeared he shielded them against the weather; as they blossomed he cut and arranged them in green metal vases with narrow bases and wide brims. The first crop over, he knew how to get another, folding the stalks down, a trick that fooled them into thinking they had to begin again.

They brought him visitors, a little cash (kept under his mattress) and a lot of praise, satisfaction and disbelief, and frustration because he couldn’t bear to waste his time on such things.

He never made me feel unwelcome, giving me a special bouquet he had put aside.  I had nothing to say but “thank you, it’s beautiful.”

All I really knew of him were the flowers he gave me.

I have sweet peas in my garden now, allowed free reign by my laziness, with suckers and tendrils, reaching and falling, rain soaked and wind broken, encouraged and burned by the sun, yet somehow as perfect as the ones he grew.

About that he maintains a heavenly silence.



In Memoriam (About my late father-in-law, 2005) (if you click on link, please scroll down …)

Bill Denton, retired groundskeeper (Wroxton), died on September 20, 2004. He joined Wroxton College in 1976 and worked on the Abbey grounds with his son, Robert Denton, groundskeeper (Wrox), until his retirement in 1999.

(I believe he was nearly 100 when he died … worked gardening on the Wroxton Abbey estate in Oxfordshire, England until he was about 94.)

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Nature Insight: Ladies and Gent

Even with Violet and Iris gone, my garden would be a woman’s place…

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

for Daisy, Lily…

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Rose…

 

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

 and Bell–not forgetting busy Lizzie…

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

if it wasn’t for…

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

sweet William!

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Nature Insight: Random Bouquet

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

The old ink bottle did quite well for
holding thoughts that randomly put a
bouquet on the windowsill and
memory on some passing page
of windflowers from filtered
woods, kingcups from the water’s
side–while spotted lungwort,
first buds of buttercup,
and also bird’s eye
forget-me-nots found
me lost in my
garden, as if
unaware
that I let
them grow
there.





©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Poem: Tears and Sun

Find me a yellow rose
In bud and blossom
and withering too;
Give me its thorny prose
needing tears and sun
with nothing to do.

Leave me its secret blush
hiding love and loss
and dried up hope;
Compare me to its hush
speaking true and false
with a heart to cope.

There in the garden
to live without picking;
red rose to pardon
that drinks without sipping.

 

 

A primrose by the river’s brim.
A yellow primrose was to him.
And it was nothing more.

William Wordsworth

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.