The Queen’s Gardener Chapter 7: Declarations of Allegiance

July 28, 2020

Continued from The Queen’s Gardener Chapter 6: About Me: But Who Really Cares?

And so,

The war having been declared by the

Most subtle of agents–

The people were




The leaders however, knew the playbook and to whom they pledged their allegiance.

This was a fight for the very soul of the children of the First Light.

And on the battlefields of every mind

Truth and Lies



Discernment lay bloodied and battered but–





As cities burned


Chaos threatened…

The Queens’ gardener (busy with the first harvest of summer)

Wondered in awe at life and gave thanks for the miracle of the zucchini.

With love and gratitude,


My Peaceful Protest: On a Park Bench

July 25, 2020

Hello there, what a fine summer’s day!

May I join you on this park bench

While I watch ‘my children’ play?”

(On the monkey bars)

And he turning to me


With a sparkle in his old eyes

That had seen his world turn sideways—

It was this he had to say:

“Harsh realities, Son.”

(somehow I found this comforting)

Then he turned towards the play ground where an older woman was pushing a child on a swing.

“Higher, grandma!” Squealed the child with delight, “Make me go higher!”

And the older woman replied with a giggle:

“If you go any higher you’ll be flying!”

“I want to fly higher, grandma!”

“Ok ok, little Icarus!

Hold on tightly now…”

Sitting down I




Between the old man’s feet.

An empty water bottle filled with used needles.

(I gesturing)

“Busy morning?”

And he being only too happy to speak up:

“Ever since the state started their needle exchange program…that’s my granddaughter there with her grandmother (shaking his head in sad reflection)…they told us it was the most compassionate thing to do…that was over thirty years ago…you ever loved someone addicted—or been in love with someone who loved an addict?”

(I had)

“Tears your heart out with no anesthesia…changes you, eh? Something you soon won’t forget.”

(and he looking straight into my faraway eyes—

I reply:)

“I met Heather* when she was ‘in recovery’. She




Determined! I

Thought she was so

Cute and adventurous. Together


Were going to conquer the world–”

“And then it happened, eh?”

(I turning to face the old man—)

“And then it happened…”

(and here I am watching Heather’s kids while she ‘pulls herself together’. Don’t get me wrong—I love her kids—they are the ones who suffer the most, and it makes me happy to see them play, but they need their father. She says, “he is an alcoholic.” He says, “and people wonder why I drink.”)

“Son,” said the old man, “Give me a woman in charge of her own mind any day of the week and especially on Sundays!”

(and I laughing out loud)


…the next time I came to see the old man on the park bench, I came alone.


Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. What do you think? Does the needle exchange program truly reduce harm? Is it a benefit for the whole community? I’d love to know your views.

*inspired by actual events.

The Queen’s Gardener Chapter 6: About Me: But Who Really Cares?

July 4, 2020

Continued fromChapter 5

About Me: But Who Really Cares?

This poem is about me. But who really cares?

I’m just


White girl

Devoid of color. Right?

This is what they would have you believe.

Last time I checked,

White orchid on my windowsill






Holy cow! Mysore, India

I am a white-woman-full-of-color!

And not your typical “Decorator white”either. No.

After a good cry.

I have a tint of pink and


I don’t fare so well in the blazing-hot-equatorial-sun.




To immigrants on the Westside of Chicago.

A city street in the village bares my father’s handiwork–a proud “Old World” craftsman he was;

Even I can’t afford to live there now. I hear it’s a nice part of town.

My family came from Eastern Europe

After the war.


You get the idea.

They did their best.

What more do you want?

Who really cares about a poor white girl from nowhere struggling to fit into a bottomless square hole anyway? Adults can be cruel, but some kids are just mean!

You eat weird food and talk funny.”

But, I loved school. And my teachers. And all my colored friends…

Imagine my father’s surprise when

He realized the same people

(and by ‘people’ I mean ‘ideology’)

Who seized my grandfather’s farm and

Burned down my grandmother’s home

Were now the very same people educating me!

They taught me

I would never be:

Man enough.

Good enough.

White enough.

Unless (and no one need say it out loud)

I forgot my family’s language and

My ancestry

They lied.


For a time

I believed them.

What choice did I have besides ‘paper or plastic’?

I had “Good Times”

And wasn’t I lucky?

…After the shooting of the two policemen at Cabrini‐Green, a teen‐age black youth in the project strolled by a slightly older black and, with a grin, said: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life, a head for a head — and two for Fred.”

It is with the police that ghetto residents have the most frequent and abrasive contacts, but the police have been called on to deal with a situation of staggering social chaos created by poverty and abetted, accord ing to many blacks, by the pol icies of the city’s powerful Democratic political organi zation.

Oh! I could go on, but by now you must be bored of me!

Tell me about you.

Where does your family originate?

What do you ache for

And what haunts your dreams–

Do you dream in color?

Dear Lord, don’t make me ‘color-blind’. Remove my blinders that I may clearly see

All your creation–every color–glorified in You!

May all who have lived and died for freedom be blessed in Your sight.

You and I have something in common,

Don’t we.

Slavery.. I know, they didn’t teach us this in elementary school.

Thank God for Wikipedia and the internet! “Knowledge is power!”

Do you care about me now? Or am I

‘Just-another-white-woman‘ uninteresting to you because you think I lack diversity?

Diversity is deeper than the color of my skin…

I am NZain, The Queen’s Gardener.


Thank you for reading and kind words of support. My heart is filled with joy, gratitude and love even as I struggle with shortness of breath and fatigue. This is no joke! Please take care.

Right wrong or indifferent, this story of “The Queen’s Gardener” is my peaceful protest in light of the darkness unleashed in the world today.

May God show mercy on ALL His children, and give the Devil his due.

May The Queen be pleased.

Happy Birthday, America.

If it’s true, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, then I aim to continue writing…

The Queen’s Gardener Chapter 5: The War

June 27, 2020

Continued from chapter 4

The War

There was a time,

(It was said) when

All the people were a ‘single community’—then

They began to differ;* each believing in his own mind

To hold the ‘one truth’


To all


And so,

The people



First within themselves—then

Amongst each other.

They became slaves first

To their own selfish desires

(Thinking they were their own masters.)

So when the lie

You will never be good enough…”

Repeated over and over…

And over again—

Appeared to be real

(In their minds)

They became slaves to each other.

No one dared question lest they be outcast and humiliated

(Better to be validated) and for a time all seemed well within the communities.

But the yoke became heavier and heavier

(It could never be enough) as the people who ruled

Struggled to maintain the lie–

A few brave individuals turned to one another and said:

Enough is enough! I am enough. You are enough. Together, we are more than enough!”

And then




From which the people who were once a single community never fully recovered.

To be continued…I hope.


*With respect. The Message of the Quran

The Queen’s Gardener Chapter 3: The Lie

June 15, 2020

Continued from Chapter 2

The Lie.

No one knew for sure from whence the lie came—

Dark whispers on the wind.

You will never be good enough…you are nothing…you are rotten to the core…”

But once accepted into the hearts and minds of the people–

Violence began to spread throughout the Kingdom.

The Queen, disheartened upon hearing the sad news from the North, sent for the King’s guardsmen.

“Who will protect the King’s lands now that darkness and chaos have come once again to destroy the entire nation?”

All the King’s guardsmen stepped forward, bowed to the Queen Mother and with one resounding voice, “I will.”

The Queen, broken-hearted to see such sad days befall her people, but pleased to see that not all was lost, rose to her feet, and standing tall with the guardsmen:

“You will be remembered for your courage and dignity and for upholding the truth even in the face of this terrible lie. You are My children, well loved and cherished. Go now, fulfill the oath to your King, and come home soon that you may tell us all about it.”

To be continued…


The Queen’s Gardener Chapter 2: The Legend

June 13, 2020

Continued from Chapter 1

The Legend.

There was a time when

Chaos and Darkness ruled

All the land. And then, a single light

Rose bright in the Eastern sky

Establishing Order and

Abolishing the Lie.

And when the first Queen Mother said to

Her people:

“For as long as

My garden shall be cared for,

So shall there be peace in the land.

Who will tend my garden?”

A young woman of about sixteen stepped forward, “I will.”

At this, the Queen smiled and was greatly pleased knowing that while chosen, the Queen’s Gardener must also choose.

Then the Queen asked, “Who will protect the King’s land?”

A young man of about twenty stepped forward to the young woman’s side, gently held her hand in his, and respectfully bowed to the Queen Mother, “I will.”

And the King, also pleased, smiled kindly.

And they, together with their friends and family for a thousand years worked alongside one another in service to the First Light.

But then, something strange happened.

And the light began to diminish…

To be continued.


The Queen’s Gardener: Part 1–The Journey

May 29, 2020

A new story inspired by YOU…

The Queen’s Gardener Part 1.

…And on that day, the child now

Quite old enough to be

Properly introduced to

The Queen Mum–danced gleefully,

“Today I shall visit the Queen and have tea in Her garden, Mummy!”

“Yes, you shall indeed.” Smiled Mummy.

And so, all buttoned

Up. The small girl made her way—out

The front door—and all alone

England…somewhere in time.

To the back gate (for it really wasn’t so very far) via

The Queen’s Secret Garden

To meet

The Queen








Mummy, with a hug and a tear letting go the small girl’s hand,

Goodbye, Dear! Take

Good care, my Love–and please (swear watch over her)

Be aware

My Darling…come home soon my child and

Tell me all about it.”

And with a flick and a wave of her tiny hand, the child called back, “See you soon, Mummy!”

To be continued…

–NZain 💓