Michael In The Garden

Written by: Keith Bickerstaffe


...dedicated to Ralph McTell


Michael is a prisoner
committed to an institution,
all he has, his senses and his schemes,
a gentle soul with no hard feelings
tries to find some beauty
to emancipate his dreams.

The routine is predictable,
bed checks, meds and three square meals a day,
so little margin for imagination.
He avoids the general population
and stays within himself,
knowing life will be sustainable this way. 

One day he finds the Garden,
a paradise of plants aplenty,
and birds who twitter, tweet the day away,
in comparison to lethargy, to apathy and loss,
a world apart, with wonders to behold,
a font of pure pleasures that never grow old.

He knows that people can be bitter,
can be selfish and unkind
but he's determined to be resolute and strong,
He tries to make a friend or two but mostly he's belittled,
his efforts are rebutted or ignored.
The hopes and aspirations in his mind

find culmination in the Garden that he loves,
he talks to flowers, birds and they respond,
he's consumed with equanimity and grace.
So tell me, who's confined
and whose life is unfulfilled,
is it Michael in the Garden there, or is it you or I?