Irene O’Garden – Private Botany

Irene O’Garden has won or been nominated for prizes in nearly every writing category from stage to e-screen, hardcovers, as well as literary magazines and anthologies. Her critically-acclaimed play Women On Fire played Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award.  O’Garden won a Pushcart Prize for her lyric essay “Glad To Be Human,” included in her essay collection by that name published by Mango (May 2020). Harper published her first memoir Fat Girl; her second, Risking the Rapids: How My Wilderness Journey Healed My Childhood was published by Mango in 2019. Fulcrum, published by Nirala, is her first poetry collection.

Private Botany

This vast fast smashing–
we want wide sorcerer’s sleeves
to sweep and spell and speed
it into healing but lust
for instant magnitude
is just another greed—
hubris when it’s humus
that is called for. All we
can do is flower.
Leave a room a petal better.
Leave a friend a petal better.
Leave it all a petal better.


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