Laura’s Garden by
(28 Stories)

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on July 8th (an event that occurs every year) 99% of the world’s population (8 billion people) will see the sun’s light at the same time Today this event took place a little after 7am EST

Laura’s Garden

In the garden the sunflower towers

above all the others,

stretches its golden petals to follow the sun,

seeking the light it was born with,

turning its head throughout the day

to follow that majestic arc in the sky.


She planted the seeds in isolation,

separated from all human forms.

Only her animals accompanied her,

bright red cardinals hiding in the lilacs,

goldfinches perched on tree branches,

her cats rubbing their heads in her hands

trying to push off her velcro gloves.


Aloneness is a ritual to Laura.

Sunrise, her allotted space.

in her quest to know the light each morning,

she drifts deeper into consciousness, 

breathing in the earthly scent

of energy’s radiant grace.


In stoic solitude she nurses the garden

In this welcomed quarantine she thrives.

Even as the Canadian smoke descends,

she tilts her head up to the lone sunflower, 


then picnics with her cats beneath the tree.



Profile photo of Patricia Valese pattyv

Characterizations: been there, moving, well written


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    Finding solace in nature is beautiful, making solitude less solitary (sorry, got carried away). Lovely hopeful poem.

  2. Thanx for your lovely poem Patty. Not a green thumb myself, I heard from friends how rewarding gardening can be and so a dozen years ago I started a garden plot and planted veggies – and found it was! In fact I found it almost spiritual and enjoyed the time I labored alone in the sun.

    This summer for various reasons I gave my plot to a neighbor and I do miss it!

    • pattyv says:

      Oh it is a spiritual thing with me, a glance at night when all my fairy lights come on, then drinking my first cup of coffee in the morning under the red striped umbrella, admiring all the flowers.

    • Dave Ventre says:

      As a kid I was fascinated by sunflowers. And then, after being terrified by commercials for the movie “Day of the Triffids” and realizing that sunflowers can and do move…I was a bit afraid of them!

      Now, Gina loves gardening, an appeal which I cannot seem to find. Too much kneeling and work. But our deck is festooned with lovely potted flowers and a few herbs for salads and cooking.

  3. Patty:
    AS I read your poetry (remarkable as usual) I wondered where you were going. This poem would not be a publication for the journal “Modern Gardener.” I was waiting for a counterpoint. And voila, Canada viciously appeared on the horizon. Yet you still found peace in your plants and cats despite the theat. Nicely done.

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    Your poem is beautiful and captures how being alone with nature is a perfect type of solitude.

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    The photo that accompanies your poem is picture-perfect, Patty. The solitary sunflower, against the tree is a lovely tribute to the solitude you depict for Laura in her garden with her birds (I love cardinals, my favorite bird), her cats, rubbing at her gloves. It is such a quiet, pleasant image, as the sunflower follows the trajectory of the sun throughout the day, even with the slight menace of the wildfire smoke. Still, Laura settles down for a picnic with her cats in her wonderous garden, the picture of tranquility and we are drawn to the scene too.

    • pattyv says:

      Betsy, the pic is Laura’s, a good friend, fellow gardener, a yoga instructor, who lives in Connecticut. I was so drawn to the picture I just had to capture it in words. Gardening is such a solitary experience but an exhilarating one. Instead of focusing on the forced isolation we experienced with COVID, I chose to highlight the times we deliberately disconnect.

  6. This story is well crafted and meaningful in its own right. However, at the moment I am having a hard time relating to a solitary sunflower. It’s because I was on a cycling tour in Tuscany during the last week of June, and we passed numerous fields full of tens of thousands of “girasoles,” or sunflowers.

    • pattyv says:

      Love the pic of the “girasoles.” Even the expression on your face seems to say ‘the march of the girasoles.’ It’s exactly why I was so intrigued by the lone sunflower, hardly ever see one so alone. Solitary, single, apart, isolated. Kind of how we all felt during the pandemic. To me your bike tour in Tuscany represents a refreshing robust escape.

  7. Jim Willis says:

    I love your imagery here, Patty, as well as how animals are a welcome addition to one’s personal space and solitude. One line that resonated meaningfully with me was “Aloneness is a ritual to Laura.
    Sunrise, her allotted space.” That pretty much sums up most of my days and how I live them, allowing only my wife and animals into the garden to share my solitude. Thank you for sharing such a lovely poem.

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