In Gardens of Patterned Breezes

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In Gardens of Patterned Breezes

Louise Oliver

In gardens

of patterned breezes,

where scented rivers flow, I come and go.

I first stumbled

through the gateway

on the harshest of days, in a time when tears turned to snow

and icicles hung from eyelashes

over hollowed eyes.

Fern-like frost was forming

on the cracked windowpanes of the soul

and in this raw hour

the gardens took me in,

washing me in laughing colours, then drying me

and dusting me down

with warm words of welcome.

I trod on mossy grass in my bare feet,

all the while thawing out

to the sound of soaring birdsong.

Now, if ever the heart shrinks and shivers

or the mind puddles and freezes over,

I come to wander

through these hidden gardens, beyond an elusive door,

beyond a wandering wall, beyond, beyond, beyond.

Once, I found the best seat in the world.

I was passing through an orchard, when I came upon an angel sitting on a log bench.

By the time I’d made my way along the avenue

of blossoming trees, the angel had risen into the air,

leaving me the rough seat.

So I sat down

and all the weariness

was whisked out of me.

I seemed to fill with bubbles. Maybe I slept, I’m not sure.

I walked on

with the angel leading the way and stopping

to show me gentle things,

like a pool of pearly petals on the gravel path or a leaf hanging

by an invisible thread, dancing in the wind.

There seemed to be eyes

peeping out from behind

tall grasses and spindly trees.

We came upon a trumpet flower that only opens for one day in the whole year

and this was the day! It smelled

like a hundred hyacinths and wasn’t at all shy.

Stopping to rest

beneath a twisted tree, I asked the angel:

“What are you going to do now?” and the angel said: “Listen.

We’re here to listen. And to wait. And to sing.”

“What are you listening to?” “We’re listening for the shadows, the hidden and the lost.” “What are you waiting for?” “The moment of the bluest blue. The in-between. Twilight maybe.” “What will you sing?”

“We’re singing to the seedlings and humming to the ground. We’re serenading sunlight and everything earthbound. We warble to the saplings and whistle past the trees, sing lullabies to berries or bees upon the breeze.”

“We sing along with subsoil and with the window box, with potting sheds and planters, soft grass and water clocks. When crooning to the snowdrop, the sunflower or sweet pea, they listen with amusement and absentmindedly.�

“We’re chanting to the seasons with anthem and lament, composing songs of rising on clouds of floral scent. We’re singing for our supper and to aerate the soul, to feed and water wonder, to worship and extol.”

Now I often sit quietly here,

drenched in a marvellous mist or a sudden silver shower,

finding solace and waiting for a gust of wind

to carry me home.

In gardens

of patterned breezes,

where scented rivers flow, I come and go.

In Gardens of Patterned Breezes Louise Oliver 2018