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My Mother’s Garden and Other Natural Poems is a poetry collection and photo essay set along the mid-north coast of regional NSW, Australia. Available for iBooks and Kindle (or download a free sample in PDF format) it contains more than 150 original photographs, interactive galleries, narration and video**. Click the icons below to read it today.
Travelling home to Australia for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary in June 2016 was really stressful. It was the first time I had been separated from Jerry (the little boy in the Philippines who has become a major part of my life) and both of us were really struggling with it.
Arriving in my home town to an unseasonably cold winter (and coming directly from Philippine tropical heat) I felt miserable and in a complete state of resistance. But after a few days of wandering through my mother’s garden I began to settle into the cold and back into myself, finding comfort in the little pockets of sun through the tangle of tree and vine and flower. During those winter mornings I realised I had never fully appreciated her garden and I photographed earnestly, writing the poem which titles this book.
The poems and photographs in the book are also pieces of personal catharsis and healing. When I stood alone on the beaches of my hometown; 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 the poems.
Proceeds from the sale of this book support my humanitarian projects in the Philippines including the adoption of Jerry.
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 35 poems about family, childhood and that feeling of home.
**Please note: interactive features only available in the iBooks version.