Paradise found in the Nun’s Garden*, Ammerdown

Come into this greening, spring fragrance, this beautiful place,
young buds in the airy spaces, their twigs that bounce, dance.
The unravelling of flowers, the complication
of unfurling, of opening, of pushing up through
competitive rooting, soil, sharp little stones.

Birds are calling each to each, randy in the shining
unexpected warmth of today.
Crows clear their throats, toss nesting twigs
to those most alluring of their tribe.
Blackbirds have constant stamina for song, alarms,
their holy evensongs are broadcast from the roof
sometimes beyond sunset.

Wrens, zooming bundle of feathers, tiny singers
with the deepest breath and longest compositions;
woodpeckers’ mechanical drilling echoing round
the old house. That stuttering sound
weaves round solid geometry of the topiary,
overcomes delighted shrieking, tumbling, calling of the children.

Mud holds our feet, clinging for seconds,
To wipe on the lush grass ankle deep, once mown by horse.
Now a meadow, vivid with bees, devouring fresh nectar.
Puddles are sipped by male wood pigeons,
crooning lullabies, hustling their maidens.

Here in the moment are conflicting tempos,
measured at their own pace.
A paradox for solitude,
seclusion,
prayer,
devotions.

HM,  April 2018

*There were nuns living at Ammerdown from 1973 to 2004. They were the Sisters of Sion, loosely involved in interfaith dialogue, peace and reconciliation.

submitted by MJ Thornton and Andrew Lux