Nina Baxter, born in London in 1992, has a BA in Art History from The Courtauld Institute of Art and works predominantly as an artist from a studio in Bermondsey. Baxter’s poetry has been published in The Cannon’s Mouth and her paintings have been exhibited internationally, with works held in private collections in the UK, USA, China, Czech Republic and Ukraine.
For My Plants
You really pulled me through.
Just watching you as I lay in bed,
Brushed my teeth,
Soaked in the bath.
You gave me a reason to keep going:
To look after you,
Tend to your needs,
Keep you alive.
When the days crumbled into one another –
Having lost all concept of time –
Barely able to distinguish when one’s awake or asleep;
At least I could watch you grow.
And what a simple pleasure that is:
To watch stems grow tall;
New leaves uncurl,
Fighting their way to the light.
I couldn’t die
Because I wanted to see you thrive.
I needed to feel alive
And for that, I owe you everything.
In Claude Monet’s Garden
Bumble bees in the honeysuckle,
Lilies on the pond.
An idyllic oasis
Of beauty and calm,
Hordes of people,
I hate their voices,
Drowning out the chattering birds –
Nature’s song –
Masked by the incessant sound of children screeching.
Arêttez! Les enfants!
Silènce! Sil vous plait!
Yes, please stop squawking,
I want to hear the leaves rustle through the trees.
When it rains,
The pond sparkles
With a million faceted gemstones.
But all the people walking past
Constantly interrupt the view –
What would Monet think?
To see his garden like this.
A young girl cries and complains
Like I did at Knossos many years ago;
Too young to appreciate their surroundings,
Or just too stubborn to care.
When the sun shines
You can see the blue sky and clouds
Reflected among the lily pads.
Its beauty is undeniable –
But the willow tree weeps
Unable to enjoy a moment of peace.
There’s a couple celebrating their first anniversary.
He almost falls in the pond
When the chain gate he tries to sit on escapes it’s hook –
Intent on getting the perfect picture –
As close to the water as possible,
Almost submerged in the lifeblood of Monet’s Impressionism.
They thank me for helping capture the moment.
I love it here.
Though I wish I could see the garden as Monet did:
Undisturbed and restful
For the bumble bees in the honeysuckle
And the lilies on the pond.