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June Wentland: a poem

Last Night My Garden Dreamt of Manderley

Last night my garden dreamt of Manderley.

I only have myself to blame

sitting in a well-worn deck chair,

wandering through high-vaulted prose.

No one warned me how impressionable

foliage is to love and literature in April –

leaves assimilating words with showers

under an un-waxed lemon sun.

The garden listens, grows and dreams

advancing gothic-stemmed through moonlit nights.

Slugs creep through clumps of sub-plots,

snails slip through sage, thyme and tortured love.

The neighbour's gardens are more orderly

but if they were more well-read

they too might dream of Manderley –

seeding ideas outside the neat edges

of their flower beds. The walls of this house

are a breakwater for the surging tides

of different blooms – fifth editions of feral hyacinths

and hydrangeas, sagas of azalea and chard.

Inside, Mrs Danvers lays her head against a window

and listens, not to the sea, but to the swish

of couch grass, where a woman might falter

in a flimsy boat and perish on the waves of greenery.

June Wentland lives in Corsham, Wiltshire but originates from Hull. She has had poetry published in magazines such as Stand and Poetry Ireland Review and in several anthologies. Currently, June also has a poem on the "Poetry Archive Now! Word View 2020" YouTube Channel.


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