Monday, March 7, 2011

Miss Thomas

Rosemary cottage

Where I ate tiger lilies

With Margaret;

Where time dropped me off

While it went to meet a friend.

She bought the old house

Years before

To have a place

Of her own

In the village.

I met her in a letter-

Her reply to my question

About compost,

Could I buy some

At Greene Herb Gardens.

How silly really

Embarrassing now

Long ago - long story

No, compost was not for sale

But come for tea -

And tiger lilies.



  1. Such a lovely tribute to Margaret.

  2. An interesting diversion from the intricately-latticed poems I'm used to reading from you -- centered, double-spaced, conversational, like a bit of memoir in a journal, coming to no conclusions at the end. This is living artifact, true to that style. Heavens, what does a tiger lily taste like? -- Brendan

  3. I Love this. I especially love it's simplicity and I love 'tea and tiger lilies'

  4. Tess,
    Yes it is a tribute. She was a fascinating woman, so utterly different than anyone I had ever met. I posted some info about Greene Herb Gardens in the Writing Journal here on the sidebar.

  5. Avril,


    I finished The Sweet Track. So true to life.I love your descriptions, in particular looked forward to the nature scenes that appeared at the start of each chapter. The Great Blue Heron set a tone. I looked for her/him in the pond yesterday on my walk, unsure of what date to expect their return. No Heron, but I caught an Otter on camera playing hide and seek with me over-under the remaining ice. I look forward to your next book.

  6. Brendan, Thanks for reading. Yes,one of those memories that will always last. I posted more in the Writing Journal on the sidebar. There are many edible flowers. The tiger lilies were a garnish on a salad. The Italians prepare squash blooms in a batter and fry them as I recall.

  7. And here's rosemary, for remembrance...

  8. Jinksy, Yes, of course! I didn't even mention that Rosemary is the symbol of remembrance in the language of flowers. Margaret had the most striking charcoal colored pottery plates inscribed with branches of the plant twirled around the word Rosemary.

    I'm happy you noticed; thank you.

  9. I enjoyed your tribute to Margaret Thomas. She was my next door neighbor in Greene RI where I lived across from the library in the white and green house on Hopkins Hollow Rd for 19 years. There was a house between mine and Margaret's Rosemary Cottage, but we owned the land around it and up to her property. We were raising dairy goats there and I was building and repairing boats, and trying to get back to the self sufficiency thing. But although we learned a lot from Margaret, we found it difficult to totally break away. Margaret used to tell me that I should stop working for money and work on my own place. I liked the concept but too many people required more green frog skins than I could scrape up on our little farm. I guess if your property is paid for and all you need is taxes, it can be done, but these days it is hard to do in Rhode Island. We left RI in 1994 and bought a farm in mid Missouri (Stover), and we are now trying to use more of the ideas Margaret taught us. It is much less expensive out here and I have recently retired to “work on my own place”. We are still raising dairy goats and have cows, sheep and some chickens, and of course our garden has a large bed of comfrey.
    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
    John MacIver and Janet Cooper

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