Hobby Gardener Releases New Collection, 'The Gardener at Sea & Other Tales'
Bob Battersby is a magical craftsman who hushes us into belief and focus for the will-o'-the-wisps and natural bounty he is constantly in search of in his stories. In his gnomic, elusively refined and highly original viewpoint, the readers see beneath the waves, hear secrets in the wind, and wax poetic even when sweating it out, digging up the literary or real weeds to give "the Hobby Gardener's" world a real work out on that uninspiring front lawn or the even more unused one in the imagination.
Those who garden for a hobby, whether master or plebe, will find some of their thoughts mirrored in the tales and stories in "The Gardener at Sea & Other Tales." The book speaks of sunsets, flowers, and scents. It supports the efforts and lends nobility to those who strive for floral beauty, food for the table, or fruit for the pies. It is wondrously funny at the right moments. It is a canny, fraternally proletarian approach that belies the built-in spirituality that is found embedded (if not hidden) in the very language of all good literature, as witness the opening passage of the piece called "SkyPinkBlue":
'"SkyBluePink" is a color etched in my childhood memory. Perhaps it was only a product of my mother's imagination, but it always seemed real to me. It was not a painter's color choice; nor could it be found in the finest photographs. "SkyBluePink" was the color of dawn when it introduces itself gently and without fanfare.'
Bob "the Hobby Gardener" Battersby digs up the fertile loam of imagination and plants a gruffly elegant, masterfully-arranged garden of colorful blooms, ruminations of a gardener producing the rarest fine bouquet in literature's growing seasons. "The Gardener at Sea & Other Tales" could not be anything but a vintage harvest. Battersby is a real gardener. His literary garden, too, is also an authentic one that grows finely detailed memories, winsome tales, homespun philosophy underpinned by nature's smiles-it is as gorgeous as any of the finest gardens on earth, literary or real. One passage, in conclusion, captures the essence of Battersby's philosophy: