‘The Legacy’ by Jennifer Malden is our Poem of the Week

entry picture

This week, our Poem of the Week comes from Jennifer Malden, who is awarded this recognition for the second time for her piece 'The Legacy'. Jennifer found time to answer our Q&A before returning to her idyllic life in Sardinia. Why wouldn't she want to live there – it's inspiring her poetry, and she's clearly surrounded by resourceful people!


What got you into writing poetry?
I have always enjoyed reading and writing and playing with words.I have to confess to being a keen Scrabble player  My mother taught me to read when I was four, and I can still remember the exitement of suddenly realising I could read whole sentences alone.(Or at least I think I can remember)!


How long have you been writing?
I started writing poems about 15 years ago, when inspired by a first visit to Sardinia, but more off than on, because of lack of time for myself. Many WOL bloggers seem to have a continual supply of brilliant ideas and be able to produce beautiful work time after time. I envy them greatly, because I need time to think about what I want to write. Have found WOL a real outlet, and it is such a pleasure to share what one writes with others, who are very generous with comments and encouragement. My world is Italian speaking, so no-one is going to be interested in ‘that stuff you write’. I found it easier, when I arrived in Italy, with a very Italian husband, to ‘go native’ with a vengeance.


Do you go to any open-mic nights?
I have never been to any open-mic nights for the same reasons, but would like to go and listen to the others.

What’s your favourite poet/poem?
There are so many poets I love reading, depending on the mood I’m in. Eliot’s Macavity is better than Prozac, also his The Journey of The Magi. Robbie Burns’s The Hare, and Silver by Walter De La Mare, small and perfect. Adrian Henri’ s Nights and Batpoem. Shakespeare, of course - The list is very long.


You're cast away on a desert island. What's your luxury?
On a desert island my luxury would be my brother in law, Sergio. He would swear, despair and shout for some hours, but would then find a way to fish, or find some shellfish under the sand, a plant which caught the dew for water etc., and perhaps even produce a makeshift raft to escape. An immensely resourceful person, never at a loss. Oh and also insect repellent as they find me immediately!


The Legacy
by Jennifer Malden

She was difficult, they said, but she loved flowers.
She planted white sweet scented narcissus
to dance before the loch
and yes, a host of golden daffodils.
Pink, purple and red rhododendrons
high enough to play under.
A windbreak for her Japanese scene.
Acrid smelling gold and coral azaleas
and a silvery wooden bench where
to sit and catch the weak northern sun.
Squirrels floating lightly on the beechmast
among pale wood anemones, later
above a rippling sea of blue so blue.
The huge gean tree on the north side
suddenly covered in frothy white
later with scarlet  fruit for jam.
Her walled garden of delights with
oldfashioned colombines and tiger lilies,
lemon scented darkest red roses
and armfuls of rainbow sweet peas.
Sunwarmed Victorias and green Queen Claudes,
hairy striped red and jadegreen gooseberries,
and jewel-like redcurrants to use as earrings.
A secret place with only pale pink roses
and shyly nodding sky-blue pansies,
with a birdbath full of glinting wings
creating diamond flashing drops.
In autumn the calling skeins of geese
making us aware of winter looming,
and in the beechwood we shunned
violet amethyst deceivers,
damp glossy brown sow's ear
and jet black dead men's trumpets.
The birches turned to brightest yellow,
and her house was set alight by flaming creeper.
She was difficult, they said
but never once with me.
I loved her and her legacy,
delight in growing things.


◄ Prose, Poem, or Prose-Poem? Does it Matter?

StAnza Reveals Headline Names for 2019 Festival ►


Profile image

Alan Travis Braddock

Sun 25th Nov 2018 11:26

Lovely prose-pictures Jennifer, I swear i've been there (well perhaps). By the way 'amethyst deceivers' are edible, as are your 'dead men's trumpets' but maybe you know the real names anyhow?
PS We went to Sardinia a few years ago, doing mycology for two weeks and my wife went to Tiscali.

Profile image

Stu Buck

Sun 4th Nov 2018 18:31

excellent piece of writing.

Profile image

Tim Ellis

Sat 3rd Nov 2018 14:53

Lovely poem Jennifer. It conjures up many tranquil Highland gardens I have visited over the years.

Profile image

jennifer Malden

Fri 2nd Nov 2018 15:42

Thanks Martin - Ray - Anya and M C Newberry! D.Knape- you are wrong in thinking my husband is long suffering, if anyone is, I am! I lived with 3 men, and a male dog, don't get me wrong - I mean two sons and husband, and the only caring one was the dog!!!!! (Joking - not entirely true) I named my b in law because my husband is 99% a pessimist, and would have bemoaned his fate, then made two crosses, and lain down sadly to accept the inevitable - he can't fish either!

Thanks again everyone, Jennifer

Profile image

Martin Elder

Wed 31st Oct 2018 07:56

A stunning poem full of colour and light..
Congratulations Jennifer


Wed 31st Oct 2018 02:45

but on that island thing,
why did you pick your brother-in-law?
and not your husband?
your long-suffering husband,
beaten out by his own brother...
this raises many disturbing questions.

Profile image


Tue 30th Oct 2018 21:11

Full on gorgeous Jennifer. A smorgasbord of delights and well set up with opening and closing lines. Congratulations!


Profile image

M.C. Newberry

Tue 30th Oct 2018 00:30

Horticultural highlights that embellish a memory to great
effect. Time, effort and affection in abundance on show here.

Profile image

jennifer Malden

Mon 29th Oct 2018 19:58

Thanks everyone for these kind words, believe it or not I was surprised, because this week seemed to be a particularly good one. I loved -
I Don't Do Canonical J F Keane
The Tree of Life - Hannah Collins
Memories- Taylor Crowshaw
A Glorious Power - Keith Jeffries
Samhain's Night - Trevor Alexander
Hunter's Moon - Ray Pool
About AOIFE - Rick
Religion Bites - Graham Sherwood,
and the Hughkus of course!

Thanks again and good writing to all - Jennifer

Profile image

Taylor Crowshaw

Mon 29th Oct 2018 17:26

Brilliant...Congratulations Jennifer...well deserved poem of the week..xx

Big Sal

Mon 29th Oct 2018 11:21

I guess I'm not the only one that enjoyed this piece when I first read it.

Like I told you before, great piece.?

Profile image

Jon Stainsby

Mon 29th Oct 2018 10:56

Congratulations, Jennifer.

Profile image

keith jeffries

Mon 29th Oct 2018 08:06


A poem rich in descriptive beauty. You have excelled yourself.

Congratulations galore.

Profile image

Brian Maryon

Mon 29th Oct 2018 07:55

Congratulations Jennifer

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message