I wrote this poem over lockdown, when I, amongst may others, was separated from a loved one. This is a poem of longing and pining for someone who, naturally, in a time of extreme hardship is usually there helping you through it. This poem, I think, encapsulates that rare circumstance- that many of us experienced- of suffering and not having that safety net there; that person who usually gets you through it. ’The Garden’ is a sort of dream about seeing that person again and how our view of them changes in absence to something more abstract and even more beautiful. I tried to find hope in this poem and express the timelessness of a love that still existed despite distance and loss of physical presence. I hope you can find some beauty in it.
‘In a dream my eyes are open, and I walk through a door.
Through the door there is a garden where no shadows fall,
Only sunlight spills into this space, and sheds light upon the lawn.
There splayed across the grass like a dream within a dream,
I see your body glistening white like a statue in the sun,
I hold my arms out to you and gasp as if only touch will fix you there.
As if you may vanish before my eyes, or turn into dust and drift away,
On the same wind that took you from me all those months ago,
As if you are not real until I feel the solidity of your skin.
I would pull you and tug you and claw in my desperation,
I would kiss and cry and collapse and finally give in,
To the pain, the relief, the love that knows no bounds –
The love that kept us here, grounded in this lonely place,
So that we did not give up hope and could find the light again,
The light that forever shimmers in your brown and golden eyes.’
Image courtesy of Aoifke McGuire-France.