Gardens Grow Gardeners

A distant place, a barren land

blistered and beaten by sun and sand

God whispered in the ear of man

"Grow my garden here young man."


"Here my Lord? It is scorched and dry

rock and thistle and sand here lie

surely all that I plant will die

but if you ask, then I must try."


"Give no concern to what you see

all I ask will come to be

Let all concern return to me

tend this ground on bended knee."


Man prayed, as had been said

he went to work with faith instead

he broke the ground and daily fed

from heart and wounded hands that bled.


Relentless sun was laid his crown

but spared, the consecrated ground

the sand and sun would daily pound

but did not touch ,what he lay down.


Gentle rains with evening came

they fell, no where else the same

His ground grew rich, and dark and tame

all other ground, stayed ruin and shame.


He labored long, spread hope with seed

He kept from there the nagging weed

He daily prayed its every need

His love became the garden's feed.


From scorch and ruin, from barren land

came plush, a green out of the sand

from tender heart and calloused hand

erupted splendor from the plan.


Outstretched, upon the wondrous ground

face impaled, in the dirt he found

As though a man, in earth could drown

his lips, left thanks in every mound.


Came again, the voice once heard

it trembled in his heart as word

"Well you've done and well you serve

my garden grows, from faith and nerve.


I give you now far greater worth

another garden not of earth

Prepared for you before your birth

her only need, to make her first.


Give only gentle, tender care

truth alone should come to bare

Bathe her deep in daily prayer

all harshness, any anger spare.


Give not to much to other men

She will grow, from the time you spend

Take not from her to give to them

they are pretenders, she the friend.


Give great concern in what you grow

each day examine what you sow

what you give, in time will show

The depth of care, revealed in row."


Gardens grow from tender hand

from a self, surrendered by the man

she is the soil within God's plan

The soil He chooses to grow a man.

Comments 11 comments

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Incredible that this has received no comments, even after all this time, Alan. I so identify with the word picture of the barren land - like my southwest Texas. And then your paintbrush brings it to life and fruition with love and nurture. . . . Just beautiful, both you and the poetry.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

My morning has a visitor! Wake up dear garden! A butterfly has come. Oh my, it is Nellieanna. We have both a butterfly and a friend. It will be a glorious day!

Well, I am also surprised. I leave it because I love it. Perhaps, for me, like the child only a mother could love.

Btw,posted a picture under the worlds most beautiful women hub, my girls with the mandatory caption. They are all giddy about making it to hub land.

Don't remember if I shared with you I spent 2 years in SE texas. Thank you for graciously feeding my lonely child this morning. It will do wonders for a withering esteem!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I notice that most traffic to my hubs is the initial burst and that later on, it's a very occasional chance visitor who seeks them out. But it's ok. Like you, I leave them out of a hub-parent's love, along with my respect and awe for those who did comment earlier on. Some of the comments surpass the hub itself, it seems! What really amazes me is that I've never had a hub go totally unvisited. Must have been the good efforts of my early hub-mentors. I was so totally NOT into opening up and sharing myself in this place, only joined very tentatively to support the person who invited me to look into it (Merlin Fraser, whom I'd met in one of those early 'groups' in which real sharing of views was rare, but we'd both done it anyway, so he knew I might like HP). But I was SURE I wouldn't share any of my poetry and most of my other writing had been in the form of prodigious correspondence with friends and family and occasional prose jottings - but mostly it was 'coded' into poetry meant only to refresh my own memory and sheild it from unfriendly eyes, like a clever diary which only I could decipher and understand.

So imagine my surprise when this HP thing seemed to work for me! I'd created a huge webpage where I could express myself both verbally and with visuals, but had deliberately made no effort to push or publicize it. This was similar in tapping into my creativity, though I balked at first against the limitations to creative webdesign freedom (it's like one of those pre-set webpage products I never liked) - but it has an amazingly attuned 'audience' with whom to share and exchange responses which more than makes up for those restrictions. Still, it was so different than any online experience I'd encountered. But I just plunged in headlong and both enjoyed others' writing and enjoyed their enjoying mine. I'm still amazed by it, especially real kinship and 'meeting of the minds' - even non-verbally, such as ours. It's a constant joy, in fact. More than you know.

I looked at the newly added picture on "The Worlds' Most Beautiful Women" - wow - You ARE surrounded by such a gallery of gorgeous girls of your own, no wonder your survey is complete right there! They'd put most of the other displays of feminine loveliness to shame anyway! Your wife could be one of her "girls" herself. Such a vibrant, lovely woman! And your daughters are breathtaking. But you must sometimes feel like a minority in a household so female-slanted, though it's obvious that you glory in them and (as shown by Emme's response to "The Letter" )-that they appreciate you for all you are, too. Do any of them write? Perhaps they might get into HP and see how you're beloved among us!

I don't think you had shared with me your Texas experience before. That's interesting. Well - I spent 6 months in Houston following my college graduation. It was the most I've spent in SE Texas except for an occasional RV outing to the Texas/Louisiana lakes around Lufkin, - thank you very much. It's as different from SW Texas as jungle is from desert, though of course, true Texans take pride in all the many (at least 5 distinct) regions of our state. But I breathe a deep sigh of relief & contentment when I go out of East Texas and into West Texas. Dallas is in Central North Texas so it's my compromise. Always, though - my heart and roots are in the canyons, rocks, winds, mountains and with the prickly flora and robust fauna of Southwest Texas. It's where I was conceived & where I most truly relate, although I've been away from it for many more years of my life than I've been in it. . . . Ah - It's hard to describe the connection. But I'll bet you understand.

If I feed your lonely child - it's an even exchange, Alan. You're a treasure. No need for your esteem to wither at all. Such a man of integrity, honor, sensitivity, talent - well - I could go on and on.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I have two son also and they light my life as much as my girls. Funny thing is, I have been wondering lately why so many men write less of their sons and I think it is one of those man things. I will come against it voracious force sooner than later. If SW texas is the inspiration behind your writing then I pray it never let you go. You should know the writing only reveals the soul that does the writing. You are the treasure, your poetry is simply the chest that keeps you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I suppose it IS noticeably much rarer that men write tributes to sons. Probably is a man thing. Often fathers are simply less demonstrative in everyday life with sons than daughters. Daughters provide dads with many opportunities to easily express how they feel toward them - such as your calling yours "Princess". I recall your hub about your own father and the sort-of stoic interaction, though you knew its foundation was love.

SW Texas isn't necessarily my writing inspiration; more that it created me in many ways and built in the capability to see meaning in and to be inspired by many things. You're so right that it springs from one's soul - or it's just static words, though words themselves are mere containers. Very well conceived, Alan.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I am gathering fodder to write of both my boys. Funny how lack of experience with something keeps begging from me, delay.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Ah - well -I've been there, done that when the awareness of my inexperience with a project looms and prompts delay! Only recourses are to continue in delay-limbo, plunge in and just get started, or abandon it. lol I feel sure it's most apt to come to plunging in this instance, which has a way of bringing to light much more experience with and observation of it than one may have expected; - plus, & often more helpful, highlights such genuine affinity for the subject that it flows of its own accord, which is an affinity which I've little doubt prevails in this case.

Someone has said "They don't care how much you know as long as they know how much you care." So - PLUNGE - starting with whatever fodder you've gathered so far!

I'll even hush so you can better concentrate. hehe


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Words to live by!(:


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

yes -


sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Here is that proverbial garden of metaphor. The deep rich soil of a woman has often nurtured the growth of a man with the strength to believe in the face of insurmountable hurdles. Great write!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you gerry, I really like this poem, although it has gotten little attention. Sometimes the ones I work the least at get the most attention.

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