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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

 

 

 

tossing my gloves

to pull carrots with naked hands—

this, how I long to speak with you

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Amor Fati

 

 

 

And the next day,

the flowers are dead.

It always happens this way—

the zinnias go from orange

and gold and pink to fragile gray.

And the cosmos are slender

skeletons of bloom

that blazed only yesterday.

The nasturtiums resemble

drooping weeds from the sea.

The marigold leaves have blackened.

It always happens this way.

And the world goes on.

And the world goes on

with its cyclical necessities.

I pull roots from the ground

and breathe the rich and sour scent

of summer spent and autumn

chill triumphant, and fall

in love with the empty rows,

this is the way, the way it goes.

And it’s beautiful, this absence.

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so beautiful, these seeds—

still learning to appreciate them

not for what they will become

but for the intricate

wonders they are

 

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Encouragement

 

 

 

Over a month after

the nasturtium seeds were planted,

the last four seedlings begin to push

their pale green elbows above the soil,

as if stretching before they leap.

If they were children, I might chastise them

for taking so long. As it is,

I celebrate them, bend over

to whisper encouragement.

You can do it, I say to the valiant stems.

 

Some mornings, when the sun

has just begun to slip

into my room, I swear

the sun says the same thing to me

as I try to hide beneath the sheets.

You can do it, the light seems to say.

It does not mention, not even once,

all the darkness it has traveled through

just to arrive at this window, this morning,

so that it might warm my elbows,

suggest there is so much more light to be found.

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snapdragon in the rose bed

thriving and in full bloom—

pulling it anyway

 

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for Merry Stoll

wahtola - 02

After I learn that she died,

I go to the garden, grateful

that there are petunias,

cosmos and snapdragons

to plant. Salvia, pansies, and

verbena that will drape its purple

kindness down the sides

of the planter. I don’t

put on my gloves. I let my hands

enter the soil and feel

how good the earth is.

This is how I best remember her,

with a trowel or a scissors in her hand,

ready to transplant, to trim,

to harvest the blooms

into a bouquet for the altar

or table. Flowers hung

in her garage to dry. Flowers

in her bathrooms, her dining room,

her kitchen. It came easy to her,

which stem to place where.

Which color, which ribbon,

which grass, which vase.

She left beauty all over the place.

Once she sat with me

on her green and white couch,

and let me read her poems,

a whole book of them.

We sat there for hours,

and she listened and laughed

at Shel Silverstein’s antics,

and as I read, I felt like a flower,

like something just at the edge

of bloom. Her attention

made me beautiful.

Today, the garden is just starting

to find itself after winter. I cannot help

but weep into the holes I have dug.

It is tender, this moment, and fragile

this life. I feel like making wild pledges—

to honor her legacy—to find

and share beauty everywhere I go.

I feel determined to keep my word.

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I know that things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.

            —First Aid Kit, Emmylou

 

 

There are gardens in me

where I have tried

to make things bloom

out of season—

how difficult it can be

to let a seed do

what a seed does

all on its own,

especially in a time

of drought when I fear

the seed may not grow at all

if I don’t help it

grow more quickly.

And so I let soil

be my teacher.

How perfectly

it waits, letting

the world feed it.

How easily it

partners with rain,

with sun, with time.

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before the planting,

the dreaming, laying out seeds

while summer still fits in my hand

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They are dead,

the sunflowers,

all petal-less and brown,

and I almost uprooted them

from the garden,

almost tossed aside

their tall brittle stalks,

their heavy bowed heads,

 

but see today how

the small gray birds

flutter amongst the dead

and dive for dark seeds,

how the garden air shimmers

with dozens of wings.

 

Patience, I think,

with whatever we believe

is lost—

so much beauty survives

even after a frost.

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Guilt finds the seeds and buries them in April,

hiding them darkly so no one will see.

He waters them secretly.

The sun does what the sun will do.

The seeds sprout and he thins them,

unwilling to pluck them all,

unwitting that the ones that remain

grow stronger.

 

Desire brings fertilizer, tends to the leaves.

Her ladybugs devour aphid filigrees.

She talks to the greens.

In September she builds waterwalls

to shelter the near-ripened fruit.

She offers to share her tomatoes with you.

Take a bite, she says, her voice like sun.

You can’t stop with just one.

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