The Black Rose Garden

I wrote this poem after my first public performance following a storytelling course I had attended. I was very nervous. Not about performing but about remembering my lines. The course had ignited my confidence and I was determined to drop my shield of shyness and allow my bright personality to shine through my performance.

I performed quite well, I thought. The audience applauded. At the end of the performance, I mingled with the other students and the audience. A mature lady came up to me and out of her mouth poured negative criticism about my performance. I stepped back thinking “Who is she?” She had not introduced herself to me before launching into her judgemental assessment of me. It was obvious she did not approve of me as well as my performance.

She disapproved of the bubbly personality that I brought to my speaking style. She deemed it ‘inappropriate‘. Well, that’s just what I needed to hear after my first performance! I stood there stunned as she walked away.”I can’t believe that just happened?” Well, it did and I learnt an empowering lesson from that experience. I was open to receiving constructive criticism from my course teachers about my speaking technique, but not against my personality, the core of who I was as a human being. Beverley Joy

The Black Rose Garden – PODCAST

I lifted my head high

Took a deep breath

Prayed for courage

Then stepped out on a limb.


I took a risk being myself

On life’s centre stage

A flower in full bloom

To show my true colours.


‘It was the first time I performed

At the end of my course

I was nervous but excited

I performed quite well I thought.


Afterwards, a woman approached me

Learned and cultured

Whom society respected

Old school, an insider.


With each stroke of a paintbrush

With heavy bristled tongue

Uninvited, unwelcome

I was painted black.


The black words

Of criticism and judgement

Painted with confidence

Posture and culture.


The paint weighed heavy

On my tender petals

I couldn’t breathe

The heart of my flower bled.


I chocked on black painted words

As the well-worn brush, stroked

My fragrant coloured petals

With relentless black paint.


My flower drooped

In heavy disbelief

“Why paint my colours

In shades of black?”


Why didn’t my colleagues rescue me?

Did they also disapprove?

Hiding in shadows grey

Behind garden rules of “no colour here.”


As I looked around me, I understood

I had blossomed in the black rose garden

My bright colours were unwelcome

My personality, my speaking style.


I earnestly prayed to the Great Gardener

To save me, rescue me fast

But, I suffocated, my petals died

In the black rose garden that day.


Then, the Great Gardener dug me up

And planted me to grow fresh, anew

In His own colourful garden

Where I blossomed stronger than ever.

Beverley Joy © 2014 of Simply Story Poetry. All Rights Reserved.

You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here

Image by Darkmoon_Art from Pixabay

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