L’étang paisible,
royaume de sages nénuphars
où l’écrevisse attend
l’émerveillement d’un enfant,

et le merle revenu pour un soir
dans le jardin nous enchanter,
et cette Main qui donne,
nos âmes qui reçoivent :

tout est si clair
dans la lumière d’automne,
tout si grand
dans un cœur qui comprend !

© Frédéric Georges Martin


Illustration: Water Lilies, Claude Monet (1907)

Beyond Memory


I sowed tiny seeds of words
like aspen, maple, rowan
and got three magnificent trees.

I thought of lilies and bees
and wrote a few lines
about rosemary and thyme,

then I drew an alley and a Door
where ivy hadn’t crept the wall
and goldenrod was standing tall,

and this was neither art nor poetry
but rather a garden beyond memory,
such a pretty place to see you again.

© Frédéric Georges Martin


Illustration: the Kitchen Garden, Gustave Caillebotte (1877)

Nursery Rhyme

Round and round the Garden
I’m sure years didn’t harden
your heart

and you were strong enough
to go
through the wind and the rain.

But I know words
will never relieve
your pain.

One step
two step
unsmiling little tin soldier,

open your small rusty hand
and sing, sing, sing
this is the best way to regain

the will to breathe
the will to live
the will to love!

© Frédéric Georges Martin