God loves Gardens / Dieu aime les Jardins

Men like to build stone temples
with heavy studded doors
that they close properly
when they pretend to worship.

Do they really love each other?
Walk your own way and go
where the gardener kneels
every day,

where the Tree grows slowly,
where the Flower chants humbly
and where the patient Star shines
for every Pilgrim:

God loves Gardens.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

Les hommes aiment construire
des temples de pierre
avec de lourdes portes cloutées
qu’ils ferment au jour de la prière.

S’aiment-ils vraiment les uns les autres ?
Passe ton chemin et va,
là où le jardinier
chaque jour s’agenouille,

là où l’Arbre grandit lentement,
où la Fleur psalmodie humblement
et où l’Etoile patiente brille
pour chaque pèlerin :

Dieu aime les jardins.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: Stained Glass Window (The Mysterious Garden)
(Odilon Redon, c1905)

Not far from the Sea / Non loin de la Mer

Not far from the sea
we’ll live in a place of light
and gentle peace.
Behind whitewashed walls
I will plant wild lavender
and myrtle,

and sometimes before
fire angels open
the gates of dawn
shiny stars will fall
from ebony skies –
I saw them in a dream!

Thus we’ll grow old and wise
and neither Night nor Death
shall be able to separate us.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

Non loin de la mer
nous vivrons dans la lumière
et dans la paix.
Derrière des murs blanchis à la chaux
j’aurai planté des lavandes sauvages
et du myrte,

et parfois,
avant que des anges de feu
ouvrent grand les portes de l’aube,
de brillantes étoiles tomberont
des cieux d’ébène.
En rêve, je les ai vues !

Ainsi nous vieillirons ensemble
et ni la Nuit ni la Mort
ne pourront nous séparer.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

Prayer for a lonely Garden

My garden, my heaven,
I wonder who will listen
to the cherry tree spirits.
Will the rain quench your thirst?

And who will see the wandering
soul of the purple blue thistle?
My garden, my heaven,
I remember Winters. I remember Summers.

How brave snowdrops were!
How worthy the lily was!
But the hour is fast approaching:
I will soon be leaving

and I must pray for you.
May seasons be sweet. May children
marvel at your many wonders.
May you become

their Garden, their Heaven.

Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: Daubigny’s Garden
(Vincent Van Gogh, 1890)

La Condamnation / The Sentence

Désespérées, des fleurs mauves
ont embrassé l’Automne,
et des lumières oranges
ici et là s’attardent.

Ce jardin est un tableau,
et le monde est un faux,
et de mon âme j’ai perçu
la vacillation

quand j’ai reçu
ma condamnation.
Mais je t’aime à jamais
et c’est tout ce qui compte.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

Desperate thistles
have fallen in love with Autumn.
Here and there
orange lights linger.

That garden is a painting,
and the world is a fake,
and I feel my soul quivering
for the sentence is Death,

but I love you
forever
and that’s all that
matters.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: thistles on orange (Erin Hanson, 2016)

Un rêve d’enfant / A Child’s Dream

Je fais souvent ce rêve,
vous venez à la maison,
vous passez le portillon,

nous allons au jardin.
Je vous montre le chêne,
les violettes, les mûres.

Je pourrais presque vous entendre.
Que la lumière est belle
et que tout est joli !

Mais dans la pénombre
tout n’est que silence.
Ce n’était qu’un rêve,

un rêve d’enfant.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

I often have a dream that
you’re coming by the house,
you go through the door,

we walk around the garden.
I show you the oak tree, the violets
and the blackberry bush.

I could almost hear your voice.
“What a wonderful light!
Everything’s so nice!”

But everything’s so silent
 in the twilight.
It was just a dream,

a child’s dream.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration: Houses in Auvers (Vincent Van Gogh, 1890)

A Garden in the Sky

When poets die they go to
a Garden in the Sky.
A garden full of flowers
whatever the season.

It is like a mountain peak
emerging from the clouds,
the peaceful shore of a lake,
the beginning of a Dream.

And they do not awake
until the Sun
has smiled lovingly
upon them.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

I’m happy to let you know that two of my poems are now published : Forgotten Sandcastles and Between Chatou and Croissy. Thanks to John Looker and  Bennison Books I have had the opportunity to take part in the beautiful anthology “Indra’s Net: An international anthology of poetry in aid of The Book Bus”. The Book Bus is a charity which aims to improve child literacy rates in Africa, Asia and South America by providing children with books and the inspiration to read them. The book is available on Amazon UK or Amazon US. Royalties will be given to the Book Bus. Thank you for reading & vive la Poésie!