Healing Garden was published in 2016 by BBTS publishers. The Poems in Healing Garden are on my lone walks on Gelligaer Common which I call my healing garden. As I walk through the first meadow, hear the skylarks liquid sound, feel the winds breath, see Pen Y Fan and the massive horizon above huge skies, I feel calm and at one with my inner being. When I was in great pain in 2006 Gelligaer common became my healer and balmed my soul and made me whole again. I also walk barefoot and like to feel the ancient history beneath my feet.
There are 35 poems in Healing Garden a mixtue of nature entwinned with history and what I see and who I have met along the way. The cover photo of the double rainbow I took while out walking and when I had four seasons in five minutes. Rain, hail stone, high winds, then the sun came out in the arms of a double rainbow. I launched Healing Garden at Imp, Merthyr, Capel Hotel (where I run a monthly open mic) Bargoed, Newport and Cardiff library. On the last page is the poem Pinny, I wrote Pinny in memory of my Irish grandmother Maggie. I also perform this poem from memory and it always invites a giggle and a laugh.
I see the pinny on the hook of the backdoor,
paisley patterned blues and greens.
I go to the pinny and breathe in my grandmother,
It smells of carbolic soap and lavender.
I remember the pinny tied round the short stout, strong body
how she swayed from side to side like the black-maid in
“Tom and Jerry”
The pinny that became a peg bag, held potatoes and gathered coal.
The same pinny that wiped many teary eyes, dirty ears and snobby nose.
You never caught anything from the pinny except love.
The poem the Evening Walk I wrote after I found the young bull calf.
The rain has stopped and left a sweet scent on mother earth
this fills my senses.
Evening dew drops glint like baubles and diamonds
I wave to my favourite tree,
promise to hug it on the way back.
See the last of the swifts and swallows dip and dive
warming up for Africa.
I found you among the bracken frail and forgotten.
You lift your head exposing large glassy, beautiful
eyes of deep brown, your fawn colour skin is young.
Cows have kept their distance and this puzzles me.
You try to stand but fall down, I come to your rescue.
I see flies around your wound and I wait on the edge of your fears.
“Blow fly” tuts the farmer.
I ask why have the cows abandoned the bull calf?
“They have not they do not want to catch what he has got. The calf will be taken away and cared for”
I and the bull calf know his fate is in the bullet
that will be fired when I am out of earshot.
This next poem Star Trails was inspired by a walk I took with John 11pm at night in the middle of a meteorite storm in 2010.
Black clear night
stars of many years looked down.
Cold air washed over us liken to an incoming tide.
Surrounded in silence suddenly
showers upon showers of
shinning arrows of silver
javelins of light
disappeared into the earth.
Dusts of time floated we held hands
as darkness flowed through us.
Cloaked in an array of soft light.
I have sold many copies of Healing Garden and the collection has been sold in the UK, France, Spain, Canada and Africa. My MP bought a copy of Healing Garden too.
Verse from my poem Portraits of the mind.
“Sometimes words are not enough
so I dip into the palette of my thoughts
paint my way
with large brush strokes of wisdom
and wait for the pain to dry”