The Absent Gardener




The Absent Gardener

It was a late winter day

almost spring

the sunshine had cleared

the internal

and external clouds

the ennui subsiding

in hopes of what life may bring.

Though, I am embarrassed to say

and I admit

at the undergrowth of dead ivy


the ground cover

a tangled mess.

Where there could be annuals

perennials and bushes blooming

then the kneeling

and unearthing began.

I grabbed a trowel

with a wooden handle

and she a shovel to begin

the excavation of this small area

of vegetation in plain sight

seemingly a simple task.

Though with detritus, pocks and tares

buried deep within

without a gardener winnowing

tilling and taking care

over the years.

These things hidden

in the soil of our lives

produced unwanted pains and twigs

like gouging sticks, snaking roots

and choking dirt

nothing to foster hydrangeas

or a fulfilled life.

Yes, my daughter and I

had gardening to do

as the sweat of years apart

ran down our backs

into our eyes stinging

down our necks

and between our breasts

with salty stains

dripping from our armpits.

Then simply evaporated

or rolled off.

That day, drenched with our

perspiration and aching muscles

we carried on

to destroy the rambling weeds

with the roots so strong and deep

that were covered

by hardened earth

and not noticed

until side by side.

We got in the trenches

glove-less with fingers raw

exposing red skin

laboring in the loam.

Together and jointly agreeing

to trudge in the dirt

while tugging hard

exposing the roots

of dead and desiccated plants

that never yielded a favorable return

and to once again know

that we are not just M.A.S. but ONE.

Yes, it took the both of us

to get to the sides

and the bottom of

this destroyer of a flowered family

that ran wild and unnoticed

for far too long.

The roots were so deep

that they were not simply

under the ugliness

of what we referred to

as a ‘stick plant’

but were choking the beauty

of the infant buds aching

for sunshine all along.

We were determined

to yank them out

to be done with it

so we pulled

dug and tugged

until we got to the bottom of it.

It was not an easy task

but a necessary one

the work itself

is it’s own reward.

To have the garden of our hearts

clear and clean from all debris

and to enjoy

the resplendent beauty

of rediscovering love

and granting to us

the joy of peace

hidden beneath the dirt

of a vandal now eradicated.

We left on a good note

when the weekend was over

we smiled and waved, so long.

Whispering an “I love you”

knowing the flowers

of our love will continue to bloom

in the garden of our hearts.

I’ll be back and I love you, said the absent gardener.

Poem: (c) Janet P. Caldwell

Photo: (c)

Author’s Note: M.A.S. is an inside giggle between my daughter Summer and I.


I’m Not What You Think I Am



I’m Not What You Think I Am

Persona’s are a mask.

Something that I wore

and at times still do.

That well crafted image

that I want others to see

so that I can control

the hidden pain, the stains

and burdensome weights carried

like an authorized pack mule.

And also the scars buried beneath

my heart and face

have became an integral part of me.

This plethora of uncertainty, insanity

and vanity, leaking from my eyes

like a busted faucet staining . . .

peering through and at the eyes of insensitivity.

Where is the humanity ?

I pick my scabs until they bleed.

I rip and claw them off daily.

Like it or not in revealing myself

is not at all quiet, nor pretty.

For, I am not fully as I seem.

This mask has been on so long publicly

that it needs to be sand blasted off

like dirty concrete

on an old rooming house wall

where my thoughts gather the dust

of dying carcases and mistrust

to clearly see a hint

of the beauty underneath.

I lost my religion too

how could a god let this world

fall apart so casually ?

Thinking for myself, is scary at times

but shedding this propagandic skin

has been helpful to me.

Please, please don’t ask me

what I believe.

It has been a journey

and may change tomorrow

truths always do.

But I abhor the world of izms and vulgarity.

It is my perspective and judgmental still

but something that I need

for me, at this time to be real.

And I don’t want to be famous

but those who really know me

are aware of this

and to those who do not

quit pushing me

into your imagined bliss.

One last thing, being white

is not a blessing to me

though I never committed

the horrific atrocities.

I wonder, in a past life

what I did to deserve

this fate of inhumanity.

In reality, whatever that is

there is nothing to fear

but an unquiet mind

rambling and rolling

throughout the years.

To be ONE with all

I must drop the mask

the people pleasing

and unrealistic expectations taken on

like a rubber band stretching

to the breaking point

of insanity.

So, let me remove the saddle from my back

and to be myself.

With this . . .

the puzzled pieces

nicely fit.

And make up one race

that I belong to

called humanity.

These are just a few

of the things without the mask.

I am not what you think I am.

Most do not know me.

(c) Janet Caldwell – February 23rd, 2015

The Gift of I Am


The Gift of I Am

In the early morning hours

He comes to me . . .

When I feel lost and all alone.


He’s deep within my soul

and I only need to ask for help

once again

and I remember that, I Am Whole.


I welcome his tender touch.

Smiling he takes my hand.

Whispering words of encouragement,

offering a comforting assurance

that mere words cannot convey.

It is a soul thing.


He strengthens me

with a light from within

and reminds me that

he’s carried me

when I lost my way.


And that has been often

throughout this life.

He softens the blows.

After-wards we have a good cry.

Cleansing me with salty tears

and invigorating my soul.


I rise to my feet dancing

the joyous tears streaming down my face.


My run is not over.

The path, once again clear.

Praising his name

Claiming his promise

that within me lives

this Precious Gift.


The Gift of I AM.


(c) Janet P. Caldwell – February 14th, 2015

(c) Luther Barnes and the Red Budd Gospel Choir with Deborah Barnes on lead.

Music “I’m Still Holding On (feat. Rev. F.C. Barnes & Rev. Janice Brown)” by Luther Barnes, The Red Budd Gospel Choir



NASA galaxies



They call them resolutions
for the new year.
What will we give up,
get on –
swear by, swear on
will we simply get with it?

Whatever IT is . . .

I have searched these vast universes
many lifetimes
for the solutions
to BE free
and to dance with glee
with all there is in me.

Flying through the galaxies
I try once again.
Not realizing it is inside
the interior of that great fabric
of you and me.

The ONE of connectedness of spirit
and soul. All that is within you and me.

Too many books, light workers, dreams and religions.

My insides were gushing out,
while eating the watermelons,
and spitting hard seeds
that I would never digest.
Simply littering the ground
for them to sprout,
and another to pick up and eat.

I have also jumped many a fence
and the grass was not greener.

I do not belong here.

Still nothing proffered
more of this battle of inhumanity,
the soul-less gods of insanity
were offered on every corner.
The well-hidden small print
was barely visible.


And . . .
once more, I was
to be fed from
the table of confusion,
in the land of illusion
while entertaining more delusions.

I have always known:
I am not from here.
You may find that rather queer.
But as Justin says, “I love you anyway”.

So, if I must,
I’ll listen –
to that still small voice
of the ONE that whispers to me alone:

“I AM Love. Never give up my child.
I have seen your tears,
held you in my arms
when you shook
unrealistic fears.

Rest now, Beloved Child
I AM, Disrobed and Here.”

© Janet P. Caldwell – November, 2014

Many thanks, Justin Blackburn and hülya n. yılmaz
Pic: © NASA

BE-ing Present

kicking stones

BE-ing Present

Have you walked down the street
looking down, kicking rocks
while missing a lush scenery ?

Do you feel the breeze
Gently and playfully
Lifting your cotton dress
With so much ease ?

Hardly noticeable.

The flowers on the trees
are sharing their aromatic
perfumes graciously.

The birds are singing songs of love
to their mates, while
the bees are pollinating and
producing honey and wax.

Hardly noticeable.

BE-ing present will allow you
to take part in these Glorious beings.
BE-ing Present is beauty.
BE-ing Present is the key.

(c) Janet P. Caldwell – November, 2014

Pic: Courtesy of No Copyright Infringement Intended