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A toy train goes around
distant memories:
what if it breaks down?

The one who could repair
the grade crossing or the station platform
has gone.

The boy has become a man.
Now it’s too late for him
to thank Father Christmas,

and the little train
will never whistle
again.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

A colored pencil in his hand
and freckles on his face,
and the Night sky as a notebook
for newly learned words,

I recognize him, could he recognize me?

At that time, every drop of rain
was a tear of God,
and every house in his drawings
had a window on the true World.

Now only the memories remain.

Between grief and grace
there is almost no difference.
Enfance,
blessed motherland,

why do we have to leave you?

© Frédéric Georges Martin

Footsteps in the snow,
silhouettes in the rain,
a father’s smile
or a mother’s voice:

nothing,
nothing is really lost.
Clear lakes have
a good memory for faces,

empty spaces
aren’t actually empty.
The light of stars
keeps everything in mind,

the sky is neither blind
nor deaf,
believe these words:
the world will not forget us.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

arboretum-des-grandes-bruyeres

Au début de Novembre
beaucoup vont sur les tombes
déposer des bouquets
faits de regrets et de grises pensées.

Moi, je vais seul au jardin
cueillir des couleurs sur les arbres de feu,
écouter en silence et planter pour avril
de la bruyère sauvage, des anémones bleues.

Alors je pense à vous.
Et j’aime quand, ébloui par le soleil,
un instant, je vous revois,
souriants et semblant si heureux.

~

At the beginning of November
many visit graveyards
and put bouquets on graves
made of regrets and gray thoughts.

I come to the garden alone,
I pick colors from fire trees,
I listen in silence, I dream of Spring
and plant wild heather and blues anemones.

Then I think of you. 
And I love when, dazzled by the sunlight,
for one moment, I see you smiling
and looking so happy.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

Arboretum des Grandes Bruyères (Ingrannes, France) © 2016 – F.G.M.

the-kitchen-garden-gustave-caillebotte

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)

Claude Monet, The House at Giverny Viewed from the Rose Garden (1922-1924)

My garden, my friend,
I won’t go away
without saying farewell
without thanking you.

The old cherry tree knows much
about hope and gratitude,
and I’ll certainly learn from its knotted branches
one last lesson of patience and fortitude.

I smile to the white butterfly
flying in the blue light of bliss:
wildflowers seeds will ever stay
under the magic spell of Summer winds,

but I know I’m going to leave you
without looking back,
for no flower has ever grown
from a gardener’s tear.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

~

illustration : la maison vue du jardin aux roses,  Claude Monet (1922-1924)

Sometimes old photos reveal
the beauty of concealed treasures
for wistful lovers’ bitter pleasures.

I’ve seen the child you were,
your smile is still the same!
How is it that yesterday seems so real?

Tell me, how could we
make Time go slower?
Why should it all end in tears?

But neither Life nor Years
are really to blame,
true Love is a never-fading flame.

© Frédéric Georges Martin