Where do you write your poems?

I write in a number of places, but this is one of my favourite places, the conservatory. I sit in here and I look at the bougainvillaea, I look at the orchids, the anthirums, I look at the bromeliads and think I am back in the Caribbean. I used to have a secret place in the Caribbean where I used to climb up into a tree and write up there and make up stories in my head, so when I come in here I feel a little bit like that and so that's why this is one of my favourite places. Sometimes I get inspiration in the garden as well. I remember when I first got my bougainvillea it was just a stump and for a long time I didn't think it was going to grow and then suddenly one day there were two little tiny bits of purple coming out and I got so excited. My children thought it was very funny, but I wrote a poem about that called 'Sprouting Bougainvillaea Stump':

This is 'Sprouting Bougainvillaea Stump' Two pin pricks of purple She swore to me were leaves, Two pin pricks of purple. No one would believe The joy those pin pricks gave her, The way she smiled all day. She was happy as a proud new mother With her newborn on display. Two tiny pricks of purple No one could ever love Except of course, my mother, And the gardener up above. from Let Me Touch the Sky (Macmillan, 2000), copyright © Valerie Bloom 2000, used by permission of the author and the publisher. (Out of print but copies available from author and Amazon)

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