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 …


©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.

‘Amor’ by Ina Schroders-Zeeders – Review

Here is my review of Amor, a beautiful anthology of 227 poems by Ina Schroders-Zeeders, ‘about’ love’s many twists and turns.

Amor5 Stars. Leaves the Reader Breathless and Breathing

Amor, a wandering progression of instinctively crafted poetry by Ina Schroders-Zeeders, is an intensely personal yet unselfconscious and certainly unashamed story of the author’s experience in love, creating a collection that is entertaining, imaginative, thought-provoking and full of visual and sensual detail. Exploring the questions of love and not really looking for answers, it hardly matters whether the 227 poems are about many different loves or kinds of love or many aspects of a few. Either way they seduce the reader into their immediacy and honesty with an almost hypnotic effect, blending one into another: words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters of waiting and hoping, looking and finding, coming and going, regret and remembrance.

As anyone who has followed Ina’s poetry through her blog knows, she is a prolific and eclectic writer. Her stories and reflections pour out of her ceaselessly, without any sense of urgency or pretension, as if she breathes them onto the page. I feel Ina would be a storyteller even if she wasn’t a writer – like the bards of old, she has a most natural need to `speak’ about her environment, encounters, travels, observations, emotions and memories just for the sake of sharing and encouraging others to do the same. Yet, it is obvious she is a seasoned poet: deliberate and skilled in her use of form and formlessness, knowing what works and doesn’t but never afraid to veer off the beaten path and try something new. As in life, so in art. She doesn’t let either pass by without making the most of what they have to offer for her own satisfaction and, happily, for that of her readers, too.

As in Ina’s first poetry book, ‘Veritas’, the poetry in ‘Amor’ is all the more remarkable because English is not her native language. And, once again, her kinship with the sea is evident. Even when it is not specifically mentioned, its movement, vastness and unpredictability are present in mood and outlook; these poems lapping at the shore, backwards and forwards, clinging and letting go, with low tides and high tides, winds blowing and everything stilled, the horizon seen but never completely defined.

This is a beautiful book, in its content and production. It tells a story that is circular rather than linear – well, many circles interconnecting like a chain-link, representing the cycles of beginnings and endings within the cycle of loving and living – that leaves the reader breathless yet still breathing and so wanting more.

Available in Paperback and Kindle Editions

Visit Ina’s blog!

And don’t forget to visit my Reviews for Others page (far right tab at top of blog), for my thoughts on Ina’s other lovely poetry collection, Veritas,  and other novels and poetry collections.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! Here is a different view, then Western New York has had for the last two months, of a snow drop …

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Past Life

The snow is freshly fallen, connecting this place to every other, blending past and present, enfolding me in the company of one who has come and gone. The colorless shapes through my window are as haunting as my heartache.
Copyright by Diane's Mom 2013

Copyright by Diane’s Mom 2013

I cannot offer an explanation to anyone but the moon. Remember when I wrote:
I told the moon tonight—
the moon so full and bright—
what I wanted to tell you.
It was as though I had,
for you are like the moon,
as constant and changing,
as out of reach.
Others mourn you better. They were a part of your everyday and everywhere. They created memories for sharing without suspicion. I was but a reminder of what had passed, like a whisper, between us.
How could I lose the one I never had?
Romantic love has never made a home with me, has never stayed long enough to unpack its plans and rest assured. It becomes a habit, one life to another, this living with what is undeclared, like a smuggler of illegal hopes.
Now you are gone from this world. The lives you touched are left unresolved and may’ve already begun to move on. I have nowhere to go if you are not with me, even if I have to backtrack a little. Surely, memories haven’t any consequence: a meeting that wasn’t the first; a beautiful wife for you and sister for me; a voice that caressed even as it called me ‘contentious’; a kiss that just missed my mouth for my cheek; a chair that still rocked after sailing the seas for you; a cat that let you spin it into embarrassment; a bump to my head you seemed genuinely concerned about; a song no one knew was just for me.
You stole my heart
hundreds of years ago;
only now can I gladly let you have it;
only now
in the space time makes
and after
can I know what I was missing.
I turned from you. I know that is why we never were.  If I had been braver we might’ve spoiled everything.  I was afraid that the noose of loving you might strangle me again, unless I wrote a different version of the story.
Although I still talk to the sky as if that is where you are.
No one can take the moon
from me;
the dark sky can conceal its varying
brightness and
and mockery,
but cannot convince me
it is gone.

img002©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.

Memories Made Gently

Painting by my mom, June

Strolling through summer

with no end in sight,

memories made gently,

caring kept simple,

all else distraction

from love at its best.

A few days ago my mother lost her last living sister to cancer. All three are gone now and I know she is deeply feeling the loss of her sibling-family, as diverse and sometimes difficult as it was. I decided it was time to post another of her lovely paintings, and in going through her artwork I came upon this one that I couldn’t remember seeing before, so absolutely delightful and serene. She said she had conceived it as a mother walking with her daughter across the fields to church on Sunday. It prompted a little caption that I hope speaks for itself as I honor her as the best friend I’ve ever had.

All she wanted was another day or week or month of saving memories, the cruelty of death not the end of the future but a longer past.

Blessings for the best of love to all!

©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.