‘Oh, morning, Martin! How does your garden grow?’
His blue, red and yellow roses stand
Quite spritely, all in a row.
The Junior School, the teacher on duty
Stops to take in the smell,
Of freshly pruned trees and bushes, clipped
Before turning inside, at the bell.
The girls are a-playing with buckets and spades
While Martin makes his way ’round;
They chatter and wave at a friendly face
Standing side by side with a mound
Of mulch, of spawning, nourished soil
By Martin’s own pair of hands,
He distributes the fertile food for the plants
And tends with a lively command.
The rose garden blooms in the springtime,
And the teachers are treated in turn
To their own petalled rose, as a gesture
From a man always showing concern
For the wellbeing of students and nature,
For the staff and the parents and friends,
Who visit on days and take in with awe
The gardens he lovingly tends.
On hot summer days, near the gym in the school,
Girls gather and stutter and shout,
For the cool lemon icy poles, raspberry, too
Our Martin distributes about.
The same in July at the birthday
Of Ivanhoe Girls’ every year,
Chocolate cake comes, and girls snake around
For a slice and a hug and a cheer.
Always so conscious, aware and in motion
A belove’d and dedicated chum,
For 32 years he created a world,
All praise for his natural green thumb.
While tragedy struck in January’s heat
It’s only so fittingly so,
That Martin did leave us, a peaceful, proud man
In the grounds of his dear Ivanhoe.
A treasure, a master, a man of his trade,
In overalls green, he did stand;
We’ll all miss that smile in the morning,
Our Martin, the King of the Land.