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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

 

 

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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Today it slipped into my daughter,

the seed that all is not right in the world.

 

In a matter of hours, already

the tap roots had grown beyond

 

my ability to pull them out.

I wonder if I have been wrong

 

to keep her garden so tidy.

I wonder how to best teach her

 

to tend her own rows.

It will be endless now,

 

the onslaught, as every gardener knows.

And there is some pleasure in tending.

 

I think of how I would rather

be aware of all that grows.

 

I think of how sometimes

we change our minds

 

about what is wanted

and what is a weed.

 

Some part of me longs

to swing the sun back to yesterday.

 

Some part of me rejoices

that now all the world

 

is her garden.

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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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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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