Christina Coates

Childhood Garden – a paradelle

Cracked birdbath – enough water for a canary –
cracked birdbath – enough water for a canary –
sandstone steps laid sixty years ago,
sandstone steps laid sixty years ago,
cracked years – enough for sixty steps
laid a sandstone canary ago – birdbath water.

Seeds of sycamore – little wings –
seeds of sycamore – little wings –
hydrangea heads in colours of rusty pink,
hydrangea heads in colours of rusty pink;
little rusty wings, heads of hydrangeas,
of sycamore seeds, a pink colour.

Green lichen on a dead branch,
green lichen on a dead branch,
leather-brown leaf falls to ground,
leather-brown leaf falls to ground,
leather branch, dead, falls to ground
a green leaf – on lichen brown

Enough years fall cracked – little leather wings –
of sandstone, sycamore seeds,
a brown branch for leaf and lichen,
a canary – the colour pink –
of birdbath, green water, dead hydrangea heads –
sixty steps laid on rusty ground.

Annette Snyckers

Wabi Sabi Summer by Ttynnare Kneecss
(A poem in the Paradelle form)

Lilac Agapanthus felled by hot winds,
Lilac Agapanthus felled by hot winds,
Hydrangeas are faded, pastel.
Hydrangeas are faded, pastel.
By hot winds faded, felled,
Hydrangeas pastel, Agapanthus lilac.

Scorched leaves of high summer,
Scorched leaves of high summer,
ferns flattened in a bed of bronze.
ferns flattened in a bed of bronze.
High summer scorched of leaves,
in a bed of bronze ferns flattened.

Tree skeleton stands stark,
Tree skeleton stands stark,
dead needles, detritus of death.
dead needles, detritus of death.
Tree death, stark skeleton,
detritus of dead needles.

Faded Hydrangeas flattened by stark winds,
detritus of leaves, bronze needles.
High in a tree stands the
scorched skeleton of death.
Ferns felled, Agapanthus dead pastel,
hot bed of lilac summer.

Bridgett Whyte

‘Phrasing paradelle’

Violet canopy in the distance
Violet canopy in the distance
Mature trees sprouting moss
Mature trees sprouting moss
Distance mature trees in violet
The canopy sprouting moss

Bamboo sticks enclose a herb patch
Bamboo sticks enclose a herb patch
Bricks at attention line the walkway
Bricks at attention line the walkway
Sticks bricks herbs a line
At attention bamboo enclose the patch

Logs half burnt and blackened in the braai
Logs half burnt and blackened in the braai
An empty swing and bench wait side by side
An empty swing and bench wait side by side
The logs and swing empty and half burnt
Wait side by bench in side an blackened

The canopy stick in half line
Distance and mature trees enclose herb walkway
The bricks side a violet swing
Moss blackened by an empty braai
Burnt bench and bamboo at attention
Sprouting patch in side the logs wait

Penny White

Sweet Memory
A paradelle by Pithy de Wen (Penny White)

The knees creak with each step
The knees creak with each step
Tired leaves flow to a flooded fence
Tired leaves flow to a flooded fence
Each step creaks the fence
to flood a tired knee with flowing leaves

The loose stones wobble underfoot
The loose stones wobble underfoot
Faded blooms on a memorial garland whisper
Faded blooms on a memorial garland whisper
The memorial stone wobbles
A whisper on faded garland blooms underfoot

Twisted dusty grasses point to
Twisted dusty grasses point to
Two sweet wrappers drowning under submerged stone
Two sweet wrappers drowning under submerged stone
Submerged grasses, dusty twisted wrappers under two stones
To sweet drowning point

The broken fence creaked,
Two tired bent blooms wobble on the loose stone step
A twisted whisper of dusty garland drowning underfoot as
Each faded wrapper flowed
With sweet grass leaves to point to knees flooded
Against the submerged memorial stone

Tansy Dots

Hydrangea Prayer

A Paradelle by Tansy Dots

Charred, crumbling logs
Charred, crumbling logs
Tiny feet slipping in sand
Tiny feet slipping in sand
Charred feet crumbling in sand,
tiny slipping logs.

Dried remains of hydrangea blooms
Dried remains of hydrangea blooms
Clattering cups and murmuring voices
Clattering cups and murmuring voices
Dried voices & clattering remains,
cups of hydrangea blooms murmuring.

Weathered, painted table-top
Weathered, painted table-top
Signs for prayer gardens
Signs for prayer gardens
Weathered signs for painted prayer,
table-top gardens.

In tiny painted gardens
Logs of crumbling hydrangea blooms
Cup charred table-top voices.
Weathered sand-feet murmuring
For slipping signs and
Dried, clattering prayer remains.

Maire Fisher

An Ode to Corbin Vines – A paradelle

Corbin Vines, his name is in verdigris on a varnished bench.
Corbin Vines, his name is in verdigris on a varnished bench.
Roses bloomed last year, and now, only bronze of petals remains.
Roses bloomed last year, and now, only bronze of petals remains
Corbin Vines vanishes, of last year’s rose, now a petal.
Only his name remains, benched in bronze and blooming on verdigris.

Rows of rough stones edge the uneven path.
Rows of rough stones edge the uneven path
and small leaves lie, underside up, against the coarse ground.
And small leaves lie underside up against the coarse ground.
The small path leaves an even course and rows up rough against edges.
The sides of stones lie underground.

Cracked in black, vinyl tears. A dish of dry leaves.
Cracked in black, vinyl tears. A dish of dry leaves.
The rusted tap drips on, below a white-eyed satellite.
The rusted tap drips on, below a white-eyed satellite.
A White-eye taps on the satellite, a vinyl dish cracks.
Below, rust leaves drips, in tears of dried black.

Rows of varnished benches. Tears drip and a petal
lies on the uneven ground below. Corbin Vines is on the path
of leaving, set alight, a rosy bloom of bronze. Only a small roughness
now, coarse and rusted white under a verdigris dish.
A name’s on a cracked stone, edged in black. Years on,
vines will tap, dry-eyed, up against the side of his last remains.

(Left-over words: On, of, a, a)

Daisy Jones

Walking through the garden she notices that the fence around the flowerbed was carefully built. But the mint won’t grow. She can see why. There’s not enough sun, probably not enough water either. She knows from experience that mint thrives under a dripping tap, in blazing sun, even reflected off a white wall. It was like that in Parkhurst, the house she lived in when she was first married. She had grand ideas of a herb garden, an assortment of herbs, a variety of her favourites that she imagined she might snip at sundown prior to preparing the evening meal. It was a stupid fantasy. Did it come with a straw hat and a flat basket, she wonders. No, her herb garden was unsuccessful. Most of the seedlings died, or if they survived, soon got leggy and brown. Eventually they went to seed. She’d not known enough then to look after plants. But the mint grew obscenely, in an arrogantly bright green orb, outside the bathroom window, under a dripping tap. It grew thicker and lusher, greener by the day, shaming its spindly flowerbed fellows further down the lawn. There was something yobbish about that mint. It was so loud. She’d thought mint might be difficult, it being a ‘soft’ herb, but it bushed and bristled at the abluting end of the garden — alongside the toilet outlet pipe, truth be told — with a proudly pungent posture. it was like a gang of youths, that mint bed, she mused. So verdant, so coarse, so plump with stink and so oblivious.

Daisy Jones

100-word novel

As a newlywed she’d fantasised about a herb garden, imagined snipping stalks at sunset. Had that fantasy come with a straw hat and flat basket? Most of the seedlings had died, or if they survived, had soon got leggy and brown. But the mint grew obscenely, arrogantly. She’d thought it might struggle, being a soft herb, but it bushed at the end of the garden — alongside the toilet outlet pipe, truth be told, — with a pungent posture. It was like a group of youths, that mint bed, she mused. So verdant, so coarse, so plump with stink and so oblivious.

Jean Green

Just dead beetles – a drabble

She wandered in the garden. Both she and the garden were perfectly kept. Both were well manicured, beautifully styled and perfumed.
Roses bloomed in the sunshine. She turned to the birdbath and found that it was empty, dry and abandoned. No birds there, just dead beetles. Rust erupted around its cracked and broken edges.
As she looked back to the perfect garden an awful thought occurred to her. Did she have any dead, dry, abandoned places inside of her?
Was she like the story of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”? And, if so, how would she be able to tell?

Christina Coates

Summer Drought – a Drabble

The cracked birdbath held little water. She wondered who filled it, or was it rain. The chaffinches couldn’t fly for the thirst of summer. How had they survived two hundred years? Rhodes missed English songbirds – only chaffinches survived. How did anything endure without help – the sycamores, the oaks? Her own garden? The neighbour taps water from his borehole, but her garden is a tinderbox. Now he wants her help. When he removed his hedge he saw her spring garden – the leucadendrons, the buddleias. He’s agreed to share his water. In return she will offer him plants and cut his grass.

Annette Snyckers

Capitulation by Ttynnare Kneecss
(A ‘Drabble’ of exactly 100 words)

It was already February and she was running – still trying to catch up with last year. She noticed how the bracken lay bronzed and flattened by the heat. Things happen so fast. You wish for them, but then they rush forward and slip from your grip! She had so much planned for this summer, but it turned out differently. Now she felt wilted and worn out, the freshness of her expectations faded like the limp hydrangeas drained of their colour. She sat down under the big oak, ready to quit the race – then lay back in the shade and stretched.

Mary Monaghan

Ashes to Ashes – A drabble

Ann looked at the parched patch on the lawn. It looked scarred, unhappy and desolate so close to the vibrant colour of Tom’s rose garden. Would the faded lawn ever recover? She hoped so. Tom would have loved to see his rose garden looking so splendid but its beauty was marred by the dead lawn in front of it.
When his family came in a few weeks’ time she would cover the patch with a table decorated with flowers, photos of Tom and the urn with his ashes to scatter over his beloved roses. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Bridgett Whyte

Arch in time – a drabble

In the garden waiting for her friend to bring tea. It’s a long time since she’s been in this garden. She gazes at the trellis archway vine-threaded.
A picture of a woman walking through the archway before a group of spectators appears. Bouquet in hand the woman steps in time to soft music.
Two men stand waiting. The woman looks only at the flowers in her hands. She stops in front of them looking up as a tear slips from her chin onto the flowers.
Here’s our tea. Are you crying?
‘Something flew into my eye while admiring your trellis.’