Wednesday 14 June 2023

One Poem by Lynda Tavakoli





Edward, you are the holly,

pulled by the roots from a memory hedge

to grow again in different soil.

Away from the tree that claimed you,

away, away from that garden of reminders

where your mother’s pain

looked out upon the thief

that had stolen you.  But I want to show her

the roots of you now.  Here,

where underneath the ground

they are strong and reaching

and your leaves never shrivel

in the blind winds of winter after

all this time.


Father, you are the bendy beech,

drawn from a Fermanagh bog, a sapling

twisting your resistance into a foreign home

where I transported you, just

to have your presence close.

At your feet a boot of snowdrops

kicks the winter into spring, and

from your branches, fingertips of bud await

a summer’s touch before they flare.

And when I listen, cheek pressed close

against the roughness of your bark,

I hear the rising sap of who you are

speaking to me through

the quiet earth.


Mother, the rose. How could you not be?

Grown from a slip you’d slipped

from somewhere else,

your blossoms bleeding pink,

and red and white

with edges crinkled like

the smile that rested

easily upon your mouth.

Rosa Mundi, there against the garden seat

where stroppy summer sunshine

warms your climb in fits and starts

and where a thrush’s egg

nests unobserved, a soporific embryo

of mother scent.


Friends – you know who you are;

sessile oak and silver birch,

willows, weeping their remembrance

in an autumn helicopter flight

of seeds across a lawn.

I planted you with care,

dug the beds you lie in deep

and named you for

the losses in my heart;

Kindness, Beauty, Loyalty and Love,

friendships living on with

every rising of a morning sun,

and all of you the light that greets

the coming day.


Garden, necropolis of planted souls,

shaped only from the clay

of a forgotten field, I have

seen you in your nudity and

best attire.  For nature’s fickleness

will dress you how she will,

decay of leaf and blossom mulched

to clothe her growing needs, and

every lovely thing that has

endured must someday die.

But in between the then and now

remain those second chances

offering up their promises

towards the light.

Lynda Tavakoli lives in County Down, Northern Ireland, where she facilitates an adult creative writing class and is a tutor for the Seamus Heaney Award for schools.

A poet, novelist and freelance journalist, Lynda’s writings have been published in the UK, Ireland, the US and the Middle East, with Farsi and Spanish translations. She has been winner of both poetry and short story prizes in Listowel, The Westival International Poetry Prize and runner- up in The Blackwater International Poetry Competition and Roscommon Poetry Competition.

Her poems have also appeared in The Irish Times, New Irish Writing. Lynda’s debut poetry collection, ‘The Boiling Point for Jam’ is published by Arlen House and includes these three poems about the different aspects of war.



  1. Such an evocative poem,, Lynda. Congratulations 🎊 as ever!


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