TALES FROM THE GARDEN
Tales from my Garden is a collection of poems exploring the entanglement of identity and nature, written over the course of my university career.
Song Of The Cicada
This lyric poem interacts with themes of identity and transformation, inspired by my own transition at age 17.
A short free-form poem inspired by Sylvia Plath’s Mushrooms.
Out Of Uniform
This piece is a short ballad inspired by societies obsession with conformity, and the politics of survival.
Song of the Cicada
Endless darkness, earthen walls
Deeper, deeper, the voices call
Drink the roots, swell and burst
An ancient dance, so well-rehearsed
Dayless night, nightless day
Deeper deeper, here I’ll stay
Gnaw the roots, feed and wait
Until I feel the pull of fate
A nameless shift, a sudden urge
Upwards, upwards, out and purge
Climb the trunk, rise and shine
Not long until the stage is mine
I feel the sun, I feel the breeze
I hunker down, feel my shell freeze
I spend the night upon this bough
Bide my time, not long now
Old skin is split, and I am born
White and wrinkled, like lace torn
Stretch and open, spread my wings
On my stage I start to sing
Beneath the moon
The pilgrim heaves
His hollow burden
As hunger guides
His careful foot
Marking his path
With silver stars
Out of Uniform
‘Your lawn needs mowing,’ my neighbour says
Sneering at the weeds
His uniform green velvet grass
Grown from thirsty seeds
Its snaking choking tendrils twist
Greedy roots dig deep
Routinely butchered blades persist
Where little else does creep
I cast my gaze to my own lawn
But do not share his thought
I quite enjoy my grass unshorn
Wild and weed-wrought
Above my tangled garden bed
Pokes Dandelion’s face
Once golden hair upon his head
Now whiskers fine as lace
Beside him sits sweet Violet
Her face heart-shaped and small
With beauty all others covet
Resumes her spreading crawl
Who could forget sharp Nettle
With her silver pointed hands?
Who could deny her mettle
Or the caution she commands?
The other plants that I let grow
Are endless in their worth
From bud to root, from tip to toe,
They’re welcome in my turf
Who chooses what are plants or weeds?
Who should die or thrive?
For those that we all know as weeds
Are plants who learned to survive
My name is Aiden Blyton (he/him) and I am a third year Creative Writing major with an interest in the intersection between visual art and writing. I write poetry and short stories, often interacting with themes of queer identity, nature, and gothic horror. For this year’s Arts Festival, I have prepared a selection of poems written over my university career, and am co-hosting a poetry workshop in hopes of sharing my love of the form. I have struggled to find inspiration in Melbourne’s lockdowns, and have experienced a shift of focus from writing to visual art. I have used this time to develop my portfolio, which I will continue to use to seek a tattoo apprenticeship following the end of lockdown. The pandemic has encouraged me to be kinder to myself and my work, and to ensure above all, that writing is something to be enjoyed.