My Mother’s Garden and Other Natural Poems is a poetry collection and photo essay set along the mid-north of regional NSW, Australia. The poems and photographs are a tribute to my mother’s garden and the places where I held my breath as a child. You will wander isolated beaches, find a scruffy little horse over the back fence, spend Christmas in magical hinterland garden and visit the old cemetery of shipwrecked souls. Even though the poems shared in My Mother’s Garden were inspired by my own family they speak to the memory of childhood and that universally understood feeling of home.
The poems and photos in the book began during a trip back to Australia in June 2016 to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents. Coming directly from Philippine tropical heat right into winter (oh I was cold) I found some comfort wandering my mother’s garden in the early mornings and the little pockets of sun. During those first winter mornings home I realised I had never fully appreciated her garden and I photographed earnestly, writing the poem which titles this book and posting it on my blog.
The poems and photographs in the book are also pieces of personal catharsis and healing. When I stood alone on those beaches or wandering the bush or photographing mum’s garden and writing I was still in the midst of a depression that had lasted several years. Overwhelmed with the grief that follows sudden death I truly at the time was struggling to find joy (or even relief) in anything. I am so glad my writing practice found me in those months and I pay tribute to it here now in each of these poems.
I invite you now to wander through ‘My Mother’s Garden’ and rest for a while among the bush orchids and bright coloured flowers. Brush rainwater off spiky cactus prickles or spend time with mum’s little hand-potted frogs, funny shaped owls and vintage ornaments. Using the latest digital technologies, find yourself inside thirty-five multimedia poems about family, childhood and that feeling of home. With more than 150 original photographs, narration and video, My Mother’s Garden is a wonderful place to find yourself or better still, get lost for a little while.