Saturday, 25 April 2009


I watched my mother pottering
in our terrace garden
(if I can call it that)
squating on the floor,
she was tending to her precious plants
cutting those to shape,
snipping out the weeds
I could hear her humming
to the oncoming buds
her tenor changed from plant to plant
the love she poured on those
was visible to all and sundry

I and my three brothers
had been brought up in a brisk manner
(I don't remember her singing for us)
here she was with her plants
singing for them to glory
with a twinge of jealousy
I kept watching her
then it dawned on me
we too had been cut and snipped
to shape and to the right size
and her love for us had kept us
all closer and still together

"I got up and squated beside her-
she handed me over the watering-pot
and went on with her humming"


  1. One thing I love about your writing is how honest, open, and personal it often is. Thank you for sharing.

  2. beautiful, gautami. beautifully rendered.

  3. You're a very gifted contemporary writer/poet/philosopher...

  4. a prodigal daughter leaves & comes home in a few lines...such a poignant display of the tensions between parents & children

  5. I love the life lesson in this beautful poem.

    I have experienced much the same with my father. I use to have such outbursts of horror when I saw him pruning what looked to me like perfectly good shrubs and bushes. He and my mother raised 8 children.

  6. I love this. Your mother showed her love for you by pruning you.

  7. A marvellous scene, that. And clever use of words.

  8. Your images say so much! I just love the way this ends!

  9. I think you captured a lot of the metaphysical in the concrete picture here. I like how it all builds up to that last zen-like line. Beautiful.

  10. Love how you've captured the essence of parenting in this delightful poem by watching your mom garden.
    It has often been said if you wish to know about life study the flowers...

  11. very nice.....concrete but very metaphysical in my opinion. reminds of time i spent summer living in a tee pee about 40 years ago....this native lady just squated and had her baby...I was amazed.. shocked...everything...but sooooooo natural for her...i'll never forget it

  12. very nice, touching, you captured a moment!

  13. I am utterly fascinated by the character of your mom, G. Just... wow. The possibilities of what's going on in her head...

  14. The love of a mother, how wonderful that you recognized this! Lovely.

  15. was good and honest! loved it.

  16. A wonderful snapshot you've captured here. This is a positive memory of someone who loves you and the handing over of the watering-pot is so significant.

    Wonderfully written, a moving piece of poetry in every sense.

  17. Visual and vivid. Mothers are many things and seen differently by each child. Nice poem!

  18. very sweet; love the silent invitation at the end.

  19. Gautami--

    Thank you for getting up and going to her...great forgiveness in that action.


  20. This is so beautiful!

    Pruning may seem brutal, but without it, things don’t grow. What a sweet and intimate moment you shared with your mom at the end of the poem. I'm so happy that you recognized her love...

  21. Oh my lady, this was just beautiful. So much to reflect and ponder on ... thank you for sharing this.

  22. Just lovely Tami. So calm and delicate. Your love shines in each word.