From the archives – In the Garden Shed by Doris Watts

In the Garden Shed

The morning sunlight has come angling in
where the door hangs open on one rusted hinge.
I suppose it worked free in last night’s wind.

In here, all scattered, are those discarded things
that, careless, we’ve left to grow dirty and dim.
To tell the truth, we’d forgotten them.

And there at the back, the roof’s broken through,
but until this morning nobody knew
how this has let sunlight come streaming in

to nurture a clever green-weedy vine
that has found a safe wall inside to climb –
the gardener’s hoe no longer a threat.

I’ll prop the door closed. Some secrets, I find,
are much better off when they have been kept.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, September 9, 2016 — by Doris Watts

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Valentine’s Day Lover by Doris Watts

Valentine’s Day Lover

Whoa Nellie! Not everybody gets it.
Just what it really is and what it isn’t.
It’s mostly frothy frill and fancy feather
and isn’t meant for any heavy weather.
It’s lighthearted loving that’s in fashion
and not, you can be sure, undying passion.
There’s little candy hearts with silly sayings,
and all the lads and lasses go a-Maying.

In midst of February’s bleakest hours,
it’s not a blizzard, dear. It’s summer showers.
It’s here’s the chocolates.  Now bring the flowers.
“Here’s my heart,” he promises. “You win it.”
Think that he meant it? Not for a minute.
Think that I believed him? Of course I didn’t.

by Doris Watts

Editor’s Note: Sometimes what we need is lighthearted verse to lighten our hearts.

A Long Winter’s Tale by Doris Watts

A Long Winter’s Tale

Stopped on a siding, they spied
chokecherries weighing the branches,
clusters of purple-black berries begging
to be picked, inviting as any siren song.
And so with whatever containers
that they could find on the weigh-car,
and with the engineer – who at first said
he would wait but then was suddenly
there running right behind them –
they hightailed it through the tall grasses
and through the dust to the place
where the chokecherry bushes grew.
And they picked berries at top speed,
then scrambled back to where the engine
waited, breathing it’s impatient steam,
having gambled their jobs, for they all knew
that if they had been caught doing this,
they would certainly have been fired.
And all through the long winter months,
we ate that wine-dark jelly on breakfast toast
or fresh buttered biscuits or new-baked bread
hot from the oven, all the time pondering
the risk at which it had been bought.

by Doris Watts

Editor’s Note: Sometimes the risk of a thing sweetens it delightfully.

In the Garden Shed by Doris Watts

In the Garden Shed

The morning sunlight has come angling in
where the door hangs open on one rusted hinge.
I suppose it worked free in last night’s wind.

In here, all scattered, are those discarded things
that, careless, we’ve left to grow dirty and dim.
To tell the truth, we’d forgotten them.

And there at the back, the roof’s broken through,
but until this morning nobody knew
how this has let sunlight come streaming in

to nurture a clever green-weedy vine
that has found a safe wall inside to climb –
the gardener’s hoe no longer a threat.

I’ll prop the door closed. Some secrets, I find,
are much better off when they have been kept.

by Doris Watts

Editor’s Note: The volta at the end of this sonnet shifts the focus of the narrative from observation to philosophy. Slant rhyme and irregular meter loosen this poem from strict to casual, in keeping with the subject matter.

Harveston Lake by Doris Watts

Harveston Lake

This lake is actually quite meek and small,
and there are those that might not call this lake
a “lake” at all. Perhaps a puddle-pond
with narrow shore – assuming such a shore

can be called “shore,” And there’s a sidewalk path
where children ride their bikes and walkers pause
for crossing coots. This lake’s not deep yet deep
enough for fishermen to fish: the fish

themselves once caught are small just like the lake
so must go back and then be caught again,
or if the fisherman feels generous,
are tossed to the night heron waiting there

to share. There’s room enough here on this lake
for small disputes between the coots and ducks
and for a turtle sunning on an out-
cropped rock. And this lake easily contains

and then gives back the city lights, reflected
ladderlike all night, and even sometimes
a full moon. Now surely this is lake enough,
except, of course, I guess, for those poor fish.

by Doris Watts

Editor’s Note: Repetition, rhyme, and iambic pentameter weave this poem into the perfect image of a place where all are welcome: children, fishermen, birds, and, of course, the “poor fish.” This poem makes me yearn for summer.