Poetry in the Garden: “A Garden of Verse and Song” Spring 2016

Poems Selected for Placement within the Native Plant Botanical Garden

Student Poems (in alphabetical order by title)


Faith comes in the fall.

Then patience in winter chill.

Love blooms in the spring.

---Kaila Glass

Crimson Queen

Color of fresh blood in full sun breathes

life into these bright leaves. Each one reaches

toward the light, then falls short of the sky

to brush just above the ground. She grows

with branches to shape a dome over the trunk

as a mother who protects her young. Or

as a victim that hides white scars that mar

brown bark. At night, violent vibrance

subsides under moon’s glow and becomes

sanguine allure. Deep purple waves in wind

as if to uproot and move. November

bears on her the red like no other. A red

that resembles flames of a fire. A red

that resembles a fierce, stormy morning.

Surrounded by white pines and pink crapemyrtles,

she resides. Acer palmatum variety dissectum

Crimson Queen” ignites landscapes

like no other with red desire of nature

while hues of pastel blues and heavy greens

calm the passion. Were Monet to place

these plants himself, the fluid commingling

of one hundred orange roses, fifty purple

rhododendrons, and one Crimson Queen,

would live on forever, though

life is less forgiving.

---Justin Beaudrot

The Garden

Colors come alive!

Watch them dance with the sunshine.

Sowed by hand and heart.

---Kaila Glass

A Leaf Song

A leaf is what it is

Something green

Attached from the start

Rooted to a source

A source we call a tree

A leaf is what it is

Smooth or rough to touch

Housing caterpillars

And rain droplets

Holding on to mother’s arm

A leaf is what it is

Eventually made to fall

And twirl to mother’s roots

Wondering why mother would let go

When all it did was its job

A leaf is what it is

Slowly browning

Losing its color

Forced to say goodbye

To brother sun

A leaf is what it is

Violently caressed by the wind

Fighting for space

Refusing to be forgotten

In remembrance of the real warmth in mother’s arms

A leaf is what it is

Sprinkled across the earth

Watching a new baby

Growing in mother tree’s womb

No longer a leaf

---Melody Olowojoba

The First Lost Boy

Happy, blue-blossomed companions were once

Single blooms that never shared a root.

Peaceful in their quiet whisperings, the leaves

Were the lonely flower’s only companion.

Soon came a boy with twine in his gentle hand,

And he took the single blooms in fistfuls.

He tied together their roots. He, too, was a lonely

Single bloom who had never had a root;

A pan flute, in his second gentle hand, sounded.

So when the lonely blooms grew together,

Each root growing together with the others, the boy

Found that he, too, could grow his roots.

He found other lost boys and brought them to the land

Where the flowers bloomed—never lonely.

---Dakota J. Maddox

The Offering

The pines are not without their cycle

They may stay green all year

But who else will change wind into music

Whistling with their leaves

The pines do not shed

Sunflower yellow

Deep blood red

Rusted tin

Once a year

They shed all year round

Whenever the time is right

Whenever they need a change

The pines are not without their cycles

They grow the seeds of new life

And release them to the earth

Like an offering

And they are no strangers to the sky

---Sarah Stephens


Soft and yellow, small and bright,

The petals sway with ultimate delight.

One heads for east, the other heads west,

A tug-of-war fight to see who's the best.

But grounded in soil with no where to go,

They stay together to fight against the cold.

Slowly, but surely, they begin to perish.

Their beauty no longer alive to cherish.

The memory of them, however, is still alive

Because death must leave memories behind.

But when spring begins and the sun makes its way,

The seeds will sprout again and push old memories away.

Now comes summer with its rain and sun

Increasing the petals' growth until it is done.

Soft and yellow, small and bright,

The petals sway with ultimate delight.

---Demetria Williams


Pretty Robin with your red chest

Landing on the pleated fence

Stark wind with tail high

Laying to claim the hidden prize

Out pokes its head below

And then into your mouth it goes

Deliver it to your young ones so

They can continue to grow and grow

Leaving the nest, the first time

Spreading their wings in wretched flight

Struggling to keep the lofty height

But with persistence you will strive

Continue to fly pretty robin

So I can see you come and go

From and to your beloved home

Of which you and I love so

---Edwin Ayala

Faculty/Staff Poems (in alphabetical order by title)

Bird in the Wood


the tapping

on the tree

I fail to see

the first red

tulip nodding

at my feet

from last

night’s frost.

---Theodore Worozbyt

Ferns Fanfare

A tiny pearl of green appears on the moist brown earth.

Transforming into a large curl

Unfurling to an airy frond

Waving its annual tribute to Mother Nature’s magic.

---Fran Mohr

Four Trees

I pretend

to understand

the wind.

I watch

already old

four gingko trees.

They are

what I wish

to know.

Each time

I go among them

the invisible


and then

a moment comes

of after.

---Theodore Worozbyt

I Walk in Silence

I walk in silence along the forest floor.

My feet are careful – Do Not Disturb!

The trees tower above me.

They are mighty and awesome,

a reflection of the One who created them.

A breeze blows gently and rustles the

leaves and I stop; I listen.

The birds are chirping and the

squirrels are chattering as if

to admonish the breeze, to calm it down.

They sound angry, but they are not.

My senses are heightened.

My anxiety leaves me.

A subtle quiet comes over me. Peace.

Here I am, away from the hustle,

the bustle of everyday life,

in the forest. Quiet.

I’m silent, but the forest is

alive with peaceful sound.

I love it as I walk in silence along

the forest floor.

---Joni Morrill