The Lovely Rose

short poem & audiobook

As with most of my stories, there is always a story behind the story. Let me take you on a journey into my childhood and recount the tale of a mother and daughter relationship.

Summer 2016

It was time once again, for my sister’s birthday. I won’t say she is fussy, but she has particular tastes in fashion, food, and many other things, so purchasing a birthday gift is very difficult indeed.
She also lives in Australia and my go-to site, Amazon does not ship there.

I decided that I wanted to do something different this year, let me write something!
The story I wrote is called “The Lovely Rose.” The story of the relationship between my sister Janina and our Mother Catherine.

Catherine was from Belfast Northern Ireland and moved to England after World War II.
My Father emancipated from the Polish Army at the end of the war by American soldiers, eventually found his way to England. The rest, as we say, is history!

How Ironic that decades later his baby girl, me, would end up becoming an American citizen!

So, my mother had the most beautiful garden. Every year she would grow the most beautiful and fragrant roses. After my mother passed away, we thought the perfect place to lay her ashes would be in her beautiful rose garden.

My Father passed on 16 years later and we made the decision to sell the family home. My heart was heavy, knowing that we had all moved away.
I drew comfort in knowing that she was laid to rest in the place my mother loved the most, her beautiful rose garden.

When I recited the story for my sister on her birthday she thanked me for the lovely words. The next day I received an emailing saying, “Katrina, you have missed your vocation in life you should have been a writer, it’s not too late” 

That is the one moment I can actually pinpoint, as the catalyst for my flood of creativity.

I feel so happy and blessed that my stories are finally being published. At my sister’s request I removed her name from the story as she believes this is a touching piece of poetry for any mother and daughter.

I am sending out my love to all mothers and daughters, and especially to my mother Catherine.

Deep inside me a story grows, the story of the lovely rose.
The story of a Gardener fair, with pale white skin and auburn hair.
When she gave birth to her child, a rose bush she planted in ‘62.
And side by side she nurtured them, let me tell the tale for you.
She tilled the soil with love most tender, she wanted a rose that one
would remember.
When the child was very, very small, barely learning how to crawl,
the rose bud pushed its leafy head, above the soil on the flower bed.
She took her first steps, as the rose bush grew, soon she stood beside it, “I’m as tall as you”.
She learned to speak, and talk and laugh, as the rose bush adorned
her garden path.
The Gardener would stare out at the garden and remark,
the lovely rose was grown from her heart.
“Grow my lovely rose”, the Gardener would say,
“Let your colors be bright and bold as day,
there is no other rose like you,
I will grow you strong and give you my love most true.
Let your perfume linger, and your thorns not harm.
Be graceful, bright and full of charm”.
Bees would come to kiss the rose,
and with pollination the garden grows.
Many lovely roses grew each season,
but, that one special rose was her favorite, for a reason.
The winds would blow and the rose bush swayed, the two of them
had come of age.
As a garden has its seasons, our lives have seasons too,
our time here on earth is over quick, just blink and it is through.

As a child we’re in our springtime, learning everything we’re shown.
Summer is the time to explore and to face the great unknown.
Autumn, things are changing; we come to terms with who we became.
And in the winter of our lives, we’re grateful for everyday that we remain.
The daughter could not visit often, as she moved a continent away,
but she thought of the Gardener and her roses, every passing day.
Her ashes in a box, she could not believe that she was gone,
the Gardener has no grave to place, a lovely rose upon.
And so the daughter laid her in the place that the Gardener
her mother loved to spend her hours.
Amongst the lovely roses in her garden, full of flowers.
“And so you are laid to rest”, the daughter said “with the lovely roses
that you grew”.
And she heard her Mother whisper on the wind
“The loveliest rose of all was you”.

Update 2020

The world seems to have ground to a halt with social distancing, and hunkering down does not mean we have to stop our creativity. 

David Richardson, my composer friend for over 30 years, knows my family well and indeed my mother the gardener. He created this beautiful piece of music forThe Lovely Rose” 

Purchase the audio poem with music by David Richardson, as well as the printable poem illustrated by Valentina Iacopinelli.

These challenging times have had an enormous impact on musicians, illustrators, writers, and all creative souls, and we appreciate your support.

Buy the illustrated poem in digital PDF format (print-quality).

  • PDF file – A4 [8.3×11.7 in] (high-quality 300dpi).
    Digital delivery, no shipping required.
    Easy to print at home and frame.


  • Audiobook – 1 high-quality (320kbs) mp3 file.
    Digital delivery, no shipping required.

The Lovely Rose PDF


The Lovely Rose Audiobook


The Lovely Rose PDF + Audiobook