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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

 

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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with thanks to Artful for the fabulous starts

 

 

Last year’s potatoes—

small red fists

with stubby white shoots—

they have something

to teach the heart about

unclenching,

about how to find something of value

in their own darkness

something that knows how to reach

toward the light,

something that when faced

with darkness again

will reach even farther

until they become

astonishingly prolific, alive.

 

 

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One Solace

 

 

 

amidst hail torn leaves

no less intoxicating

the scent of nasturtium

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On Emergence

 

 

 

In May I planted a whole row of beans

along the back fence of the garden,

pushed each of the small white seeds one inch

into the spring-damp soil. I waited weeks.

Not one came up. Not one.

I planted them again, planted them in twos

two inches apart. I waited weeks. Three

came up. There were over 100 seeds.

I am trying to tell you that sometimes

what we wish for does not happen.

Though we do everything by the rules.

Though we have known success before.

Though we long for our plans to take root,

to bloom, to fruit. Then all through the rows

emerged this spring dozens of volunteer cosmos.

This morning, a generous riot of pink, dark pink

and white fluttering in the spaces where

I’d envisioned only the green of beans.

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Preparation

 

 

 

Pulling tall grass

from amidst the peonies

it’s hard not to admire

the tenaciousness

of grass, admire it

as I rip it out, every

last blade.

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