Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Leaves, not just of grass

No-one’s lived here for more than a year
the garden’s gone wild and overgrown
so I tell the gardener to trim it clear
I want the shrubs tidied, the grasses mown.


He brings his step ladder and pruning shears
and gets to work on the plants and the lawn;
the trim takes him a couple hours or near
and then it’s done - the wilderness’s gone.


He calls me at the last and I’m aghast,
“My god! my brother, what have you done?”
“But this madame is what you yourself asked!
How else can I tidy up a garden?”


“This is not what I want, in two hours past
you’ve trimmed off the plumes, the flowers, not one
remains on the plants, it’s just leaves and grass
just bare branches, only green and barren.”


The birds too are hushed, he stands there non-plussed
till my ire’s spent, says in an even tone,
“don’t worry, they grow back, but you must
decide how green you want your garden grown.”


He stands there and smiles, “leave it a bit wild
and there’ll be flowers in all colours and tones;
but if you want it neat, then get reconciled
to the idea of shades of green alone.


“Pruned neat and square, it will always be bare
you see, madame, the buds are often borne
at the tip of shoots and they must bloom there,
and the grass loses its plumes if it’s mown.”


I look at his wise face, and the spruced up place
and though I have been slow, it at last dawns -
the lesson he has taught with such careless grace
with a pair of pruning shears, and a wordless lawn.


  1. So true, so very very true. That pruning must only be done after the flowers have bloomed!

    Lovely! In life as well as the garden!

  2. You constantly amaze me Nilanjana. I couldn't help thinking of my father who kept on cutting all my mother's flowers every time she went away -- easier to mow that way, lol! But you have inserted a wonderful message within the words. Yes, how beautifully my lavender blooms after a hard pruning.


  3. The garden and the gardener are both great teachers! Thank you! @Yolanda and Denise

  4. In hours the ecosystem of many got trimmed to suit our needs and that's what going on a large scale if u see the world , beautiful n inspiring :)

    1. Too much large scale trimming going on! :) thank you for your comment.

  5. the beat poem....very good nilanjana

  6. simply beautiful , Nila !! :)

  7. Thank you both, Ritesh n mysay! :)