MY PIECE OF PARADISE.©
Poetry and Photography by Caroline Street
As the welcome new day nears,
Distinct, sweet birdsong is music to my ears.
The Purple Crested Lourie calls his mate,
“Breakfast is on, don’t be late!”
The distant call; "ha-ha-hadedah" of the Ibises in flight,
Their silver feathers gleam in the sunlight.
The gentle sun-rays awaken the day,
Its warmth spreads every way.
Kaleidoscope patterns dance about
On sun-touched branches and leaves.
Under the shrubs, purple shadows weave in and out;
This colour play is what my eye perceives.
A shower, true to the season
Has left a cool and wet impression.
The garden is pristine and green.
Aromas of moist soil, kiss me quick and jasmine
Sweeten the air; it is a birds and bees affair!
Dew drops lie like pearls on the carpet of grass,
Through the holey wall a trumpet creeper unfurls.
Bright green moss grows thick along the path
And rainwater overflows from the birdbath.
Croton leaves are ablaze with colour:
Red, orange, pink, apricot,
Maroon, green, and yellow.
Twisted, forked, and jazzy leaves,
Brimming with extraordinary character!
The thorny acacia tree stands firm,
Whilst patiently awaiting its guests - the birds.
The tree is a life-giving source of food:
Bugs, lizards, ants, and worms,
Concealed in crevices of the bark and under leaves.
The mongoose has left tiny footprints on the ground,
And I wonder, when will the monkeys come to call.
The frogs have laid their eggs in the pool again,
And I can tell the giant snails have been around,
Evidenced by their sticky crooked trails.
The orchids, clivias, lilies, magnolia, and jade,
Have all had their time to bloom.
Their flowers of white, orange, and green
Have begun to fade, the gardenia too,
With its delicate perfume.
Now the honeysuckles - orange and yellow,
Are abuzz with bees and drip with flower;
Their nectar has such an alluring power!
The peace lily always seems to be in bloom;
Pure white flowers on deep green,
A peaceful sight - this shrub is named just right,
As this elegant lily is so serene.
Ivy and goosefoot creepers, which quickly grow,
Attach themselves to rocks and shrubs.
Delicate, lacy ferns claim a dead tree’s hollow,
Which is systematically chewed into sawdust
By fat, greedy grub worms.
The bold cycads are now mature,
They have produced a cone;
Whether male or female is still unknown.
Their firm, thorny leaves stand proud,
And soon, the young plants will sprout.
These are the tough masters of the garden,
No wonder, a few million years they have been about.
The palms' thick stems tower in the sky
Thirty to fifty feet high!
As their large fronds gracefully move,
They seem to meet and greet the clouds
And in the currents of air they find their groove.
A bright green spotted bush snake
Has made an appearance.
He languishes on the split-pole fence
Absorbing the heat, the sun gleaming off his length.
I take no offence to his presence,
He is harmless and deserves conserving.
Fresh rainwater in the bird-bath
Entices the thirsty bulbuls, doves, and weavers;
All a-tweet and a-twitter, busy with their tasks.
A long, cool drink is needed, a tasty titbit
And a bathing for dusty feathers.
Shaped by the gardener's hands
Is a figure of a bending man,
Busy with a constant task.
Created from the shrub known as Sheena's Gold;
Six foot high, the leafy man stands,
And lovingly tendered, he never grows old.
The monotonous garden wall has come alive
With the prodigious Virginia creeper.
Its perfection seems unnatural - contrived;
Lush and thick - leaves grow in unison
Like a green blanket draped over the partition.
The onset of autumn will turn leaves crimson and copper;
In spring, it will regain its splendour.
The Brazilian grape tree has borne its juicy fruit,
What a bird's feast, now the tree has a deserved rest.
The shady umbrella tree is aptly named
As its leaves resemble little parasols,
But despite its name, it dislikes the shade
And determinedly grows towards the sun's rays.
A shrimp (in botanical form) is about to flower,
As is the bougainvillea;
Pink buds pop up their heads.
And spun between the leaves,
I notice the gleam of silky thread
Where a spider has spun his web.
Yucca, bromeliad, poinsettia and aloe,
Survivors of the harshest conditions - easily grow.
The red glory bower always fulfils my expectations;
Evergreen, and consistent in all seasons
In producing showers of intricate red flowers.
The towering fever and leopard trees,
Their patterned bark of lime green and brown spots
Is something for all nature lovers to touch and see.
Flowers from the fever form a yellow carpet on the grass
While hundreds of musical leopard seed pods litter the path.
By mid-autumn a thousand rust and golden leaves
From the guava and essenhout trees,
Are bestrewed on the ground.
They are swept into the flower beds,
To form a blanket from the cold.
This rich nurture for the soil,
Will assist with summer's toil.
I view the park behind my house from the gate;
One step and I'm in this magical place;
Age-old twisted trees grow beside the vlei,
Abounding with grass and reeds.
Excited, busy, brown, and yellow weavers,
Are persistent in their task of crafting perfect nests
And collecting for their needs.
Fortunate I am for all this beauty
Which surrounds me constantly,
Even the street in which I reside
Is named after a charismatic lily!
And I'll not forget, that the greatest gardener
Has entrusted me with His creation; my blessing;
This miniature paradise under heaven. ❤
A few photographs of my garden.