Poems from MARY’S GARDEN by Ian McDonald

6.  Praise Song For Mary


From Mary’s Garden

O of love

boon of heaven

heavy-looking now

birth soon to come

I celebrate the joy

beauty of body-swell

oval paradisal

proud miracle

I celebrate

all soft and circling forms

earth-root flower

the golden pregnant moon

showers shadows

call-glory of carols

bowls of ripe oranges

rose mangoes full plums too

stuffed sweet melons

rotund sun-ball in the sky

fat cloud-bellies sailing

in looms and loops of light

smoke-mist over water 

rain curves on river

ocean-swoops billows

roses pools of moon-water

home home home

hollows look hallowed

they are the kin of hoops

fat loaves – 

hot bounty

from old stoves

noontime and swallows

arcs of light

you are buoyant with becoming

a fountain

a meteor shower


my burgeoning love

rock and cradling stars

in your belly-dark

time booms

and throb and towers

life starts again

I hear the double-heart

that God made with me

and you will make me soon 

a high-shining son.

26. 35th Anniversary

I found my wife crying.

What had happened, what sadness had come

upon her? Not long before I had embraced

her, said how much I loved her. Life is good;

you make it good, my love. Talked about our

children’s children for a while and she smiled,

squeezed my hand by the kitchen door. Join me

in the garden when you are done; there’s a poem

I want to read to you. She was late coming

to me, said, I cannot bear the thought

I grow cold as death, I cannot bear the thought

there will come a day…

I held her close, close as I could.

Poems from The Garden by Ian McDonald

28. Bougainvillea

throw of red

against the wall

bougainvillea abloom

shouts of colour

joy of children

phagwah in the garden.

Photo: Jamie McDonald

102. Hibiscus

Cold in the night wind, alone in the crowded stars,

counted one hundred hibiscus in the garden,

everyone beautiful. One day’s light they last,

adorn the world and are gone. Eight years

the same — at least it seems so at the end.

Photo: Jamie McDonald