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Poem: a living, giving garden ...

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Erica Jolly takes her inspiration from a special Adelaide garden.

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The Roma Mitchell Garden
Outside the Old Adelaide Gaol

Celebrating a special birthday with
The Romero Company Incorporated
And acknowledging Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz

I am thinking about the 25th birthday
of the Roma Mitchell Garden outside
the walls of the old Adelaide Gaol.

At the same time, in my mind, is this phrase
sent by my young friend from Sydney –
‘Humans have a lot to learn about symbiosis’.

Today, in my mind, is this discovery.
Here, on this cloudless spring day
I see the meaning of living together.

Here, in this living, giving garden
brought into being by inspiration,
knowledge and persistence, I find it.

Twenty-five years ago – a challenge.
Bring out of this barren stony ground
opportunities for human sharing.

Opportunities for everyone to bring a gift,
talent, work, laughter, planting, harvesting fruits
and vegetables grown among flowers and trees.

And all contributors are teachers
teaching by example, for those yet to see
just what hope and joy comes from living together.

Roots holding soil, leaves breathing air, bees
fertilizing for budding, sun for life through light,
sap rising and friends gathering such a harvest,

a harvest feeding mind, body and spirit,
from fruits of this garden where all are welcome,
acknowledged, appreciated and loved.

Erica Jolly graduated from Adelaide University with honours in history and gained her Masters in English Literature from Flinders University. She taught and held curriculum positions in secondary schools for 40 years, has been elected to the Flinders University Governing Council and Academic Senate, helped combine various faculties and schools there, and supported the recognition of teaching. She has authored five books, two on South Australian educational history, two of her poetry, and ‘Challenging the Divide: Approaches to Science and Poetry.’

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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