What kind of garden are you?

Villandry - Renaissance Formal Garden


I envy the beauty of a formal garden.
I imagine appearing neatly clipped, colors coordinated.
What a wonderful thing it would be to think in tidy paths
that take me past each important element.

All my blooms would open at the proper time,
in proper order, and in their proper place.
All would arrange themselves around an exquisite centerpiece
of good sense and logic.

I’m more like a tangled wood,
honeysuckle vines and thorned blackberries marking my borders,
tiny violets hiding in my shadows.

I’m a web of branches and green growth,
reaching for sun and sky by day,
moon and stars by night.
My roots burrow into a rich carpet,
hidden things that feed the growth.

At my center — a twisting, babbling stream of moods,
ideas, desires, and dreams.
I envy the order of a formal garden, but my soul knows it could never grow there.

Filling the gaps: Today’s prompt from dVerse asks that we explain the circumstances that led to a poem we wrote. “Me” started as a dream in which I was a patch of woodland with a stream at a center. I was home to flowers and berries and a multitude of creatures. Then the bulldozers came and carved me up into something like you see above. My paths were paved and my hedges trimmed. I think the dream came from a personal frustration with how disorganized I am and that I can’t seem to get from point A to point B along a straight course. My progress toward a goal prefers the winding scenic route with lots of backtracking. 

I still get frustrated, but I always wind up thinking back to this dream and this poem. I envy people with ordered minds, but I know I wouldn’t be at home inside one.

How does your garden grow?

secret garden

This post is a contribution to dVerse Meeting the Bar. Stop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


  • Brian Miller

    smiles…i think i like the wild wood a bit more than the contrived garden…i think there is beauty in each…i would say mine is a bit more on the wild side…the carving it up to me would feel like a forced issue which would raise my hackles as well…smiles.

  • Charles Miller

    Fabulous poem and description of how itbfits into your way of seeing yourself and your relationship to the world. I really love the simplicity of the metaphor of the garden and how you carry it from beginning to end, winding us along its paths both cut and overgrown! The metaphor brings us close to a reality that both is and is not you as you contrast the two types of gardens. At the same time, we find imagination or possibility running up against reality – possibility and self-awareness. This interplay of the opposites is very nice because it allows us to imagine where we stand as invididuals seeking to define ourselves in our heads and hearts, as well as asking us to reflect on the image versus the reality. This is a very sophisticated poem stated simply and imaginitively, the marks of great and inspired writing.

  • Jannie Funster

    I think the wild garden offers much more depth and peace than the formally clipped one.

    And ordered minds seem a mite boring to me, Nara. maybe something told us in childhood we "should" be. I don't agree with shoulds.

    Must be the artist's soul that makes us twisting babbling stream of moods. With the hidden things feeding our artistic growth we can bring to enrich the lives of others.

    And you know those little sidebar buttons I make and post on my blog because I enjoy doing it? Well, YOURs will apear next. Will be fun to peruse your artsy photos and see what would look good in the 150px x 76 px form I make them.


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