Words from the Rock – a collection of poems

Our upcoming Florilegium of watercolor paintings of island plants will also be showcasing written poetry about the gardens. The poems are a collection of ‘Compare and Compose’ Poetry that was put together by a National Park Service intern in 1992. Mary Schumacher organized  an interpretive program where visitors to the island spent a couple of hours walking the island and gaining inspiration from the landscape.

The poems have had little mention since they were written over two decades ago, but Mary has held onto the treasured poems. The gardens have changed dramatically since inspiring the writings, but the spirit of the gardens still remain – cherished plants brought to a desolate island to provide beauty, the neglect of the gardens, the determination of the  plants to hold onto the life they had.

With the poems being presented alongside the art, at long last, they will be read and provoke thought once again about the importance of plants and beauty in our every day lives.

 

 

Now the ice plant

lives on the cliffs

of another age.

In the purple light

of dawn

the flowers

are also purple.

When the rock it hangs on

begins to crumble

piece by piece

breaking to new form…

the plant cannot

remember another age.

-Mary Schumacher

 

Alcatraz II

Alcatraz

Where men denied the privileges

    of men

Once more the priviledges of nature

Centranthus ruber with the ever watchful guardtower. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

Centranthus ruber with the ever watchful guardtower. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

    were denied as well

It did not work

As well as men cannot be made

    numbers

Control of nature is not within men’s

    power

Alcatraz – where “destruction” has

    not become the final word

Alcatraz – where nature survived and

    gave rise to new beauty

          -Lars Pohlmeier, Bremen, Germany; September 24, 1992

 

 

 

Beauty within the Beast

How can there be so much life

surrounding so much that is

dead?

Mother Nature will prevail

Chasmanthe softening the harshness of the recreation yard. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

Chasmanthe softening the harshness of the recreation yard. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

-Larry Neal, Oklahoma City, OK; September 26, 1992

   

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