Tuesday 1 September 2009


I've just been devouring Top of the Pile, an anthology of stories and poems written by members of the Nenagh Writers Group. I heartily recommend it (see here for details). My favourite piece is the very first, a short poem by my good friend and neighbour Duncan Bain, who has gone before us into the presence of his maker, to the great sadness of all his family and friends and his widow, Aggie. Here it is:
© Duncan Bain

The verdant woodland is my church serene
Where hymns the sighing zephyr in the trees;
I worship where the leaves are broadly green,
And list the droning prayers of humble bees.

Fragrance, as a fir-cone censer spills
Incense from a lofty soaring pine.
The tintinnabulating streamlet rills,
Thought, Prayer and Harmony are mine.

Soft Doves are Angels in the air,
Deep, warm, my hassock is the sod,
Here, with no other soul to share,
Sounds clear the voice of God.

The voice of this sensitive man with a deep love of nature speaks still through these beautiful words. Thank you, Aggie, for permission to share them here.

And my distant cousin Jocelyn Mertens has just sent me this lovely tribute to her own fellow gardener:
Mr. Eastlake In Late Summer
© Jocelyn Mertens, August 2009

That sound
As the moon glides up
That pause in the night
Between bird and bat
That vibration of
An opening bloom
That is the peace you give me.
This too speaks to me. I love to take a glass of wine out into the garden as dusk falls, to wait in the Lime Alley during that pause between the swallows and the bats.

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