A Place to Catch my Breath

Before the virus, when the world was busy,
I fantasised about a secret folly
in a corner of the garden hidden by trees,
a place where I could catch my breath
and let my imagination run free.

I envisaged gargoyles on the corners
of the roof to ward off unwelcome visitors,
and an ornate lantern above the entrance,
with a long-burning candle of beeswax
to guide me on my nightly haunts.

Unluckily, in the quietude of a pandemic world,
the foolish folly fell before it could be realised,
but I have all the time and space to breathe
in my riotous garden, beneath green branches
and the wide expanse of clearer, bluer skies.

Kim M. Russell, 15th April 2020

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads NaPoWriMo Day 15 Play it Again in April 2020: Folly

On Wednesday, 15th April 2015, Hedgewitch encouraged us to build follies, garden ornaments disguised as buildings. She took us on a little tour of Witley Park, which is in the UK, but I’d never heard of it and was fascinated by the story behind it, and Wright’s Folly.

The challenge is to build a folly by writing about something in our lives into which we’ve put large amounts of resources, something silly but decorative and pleasing, something eccentric, or even bizarre. We can write about someone else’s folly, something darker, dishonest, arrogant, wasteful, or we can dig a little deeper into the owner of Witley Park, J Whittaker Wright; his mind, his life or death, his scams or his fall from grace.

I’m merging this prompt with Kerry’s Skylover Wordlist, sourced from Dylan Thomas’s poetry collection Deaths and Entrances, from which the fifteenth word is ‘unluckily’.

The images are of two small gargoyles, which are currently on our mantelpiece.


12 thoughts on “A Place to Catch my Breath

  1. “Unluckily, in the quietude of a pandemic world, the foolish folly fell before it could be realised,”.. sigh this proves to be true for many of us who had plans before the crisis hit. An amazing poem filled with unforgettable imagery, Kim! 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a cozy place. All should have one, back even to the tree houses and nooks under basement stairs. We have a beautiful back yard that either could repose and read or meditate. Even have chairs, a table. And landscaped. During our shut in time Mrs. reads there but we are already hot, in the nineties. Kim, don’t forget or ignore after we are free to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the images. And am quite jealous of your having a garden to escape to in these times. We do have an area outside of our building where magnolia trees are about to pop….and a little green space with a few benches and gorgeous daffodils near by. Hard to find those benches empty these days.
    PS: your folly sounds delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lill! We do have an old artist’s studio in our gardn, with light and heat, but it’s full of junk. It’s a project for the future.


  4. Your folly would be lovely I’m sure👍It’s so good that you have your garden for respite even without it. I enjoyed your poem very much👏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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