Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Poems About Gardens
I was thinking this evening about my gardens in Michigan. It has been a few years since I was able to tend them. I am sure they are filled with weeds and overgrown. Gardens themselves are like poems of the earth to me. This caused me to search for poems about gardens. Here are a few in honor of gardens:
Digging Potatoes, Sebago, Maine
by Amy E. King
Summer squash and snap-beans gushed
all August, tomatoes in a steady splutter
through September. But by October's
last straggling days, almost everything
in the garden was stripped, picked,
decayed. A few dawdlers:
some forgotten carrots, ornate
with worm-trail tracery, parsley parched
a patchy faded beige. The dead leaves
of potato plants, defeated and panting,
their shriveled dingy tongues
crumbling into the mud.
You have to guess where.
The leaves migrate to trick you. Pretend
you're sure, thrust the trowel straight in,
hear the steel strike stone, hear the song
of their collision—this land is littered
with granite. Your blade emerges
with a mob of them, tawny freckled knobs,
an earthworm curling over one like a tentacle.
I always want to clean them with my tongue,
to taste in this dark mud, in its sparkled scatter
of mica and stone chips, its soft genealogy
of birch bark and fiddleheads, something
that means place, that says here,
with all its crags and sticky pines,
its silent stubborn brambles. This
is my wine tasting. It's there,
in the potatoes: a sharp slice with a different blade
imparts a little milky blood, and I can almost
smell it. Ferns furling. Barns rotting.
Even after baking, I can almost taste the grit.
Garden of Bees
by Matthew Rohrer
The narcissus grows past
the towers. Eight gypsy
sisters spread their wings
in the garden. Their gold teeth
are unnerving. Every single
baby is asleep. They want
a little money and I give
them less. I'm charming and
handsome. They take my pen.
I buy the poem from the garden
of bees for one euro. A touch
on the arm. A mystery word.
The sky has two faces.
For reasons unaccountable
my hand trembles.
In Roman times if they were
horrified of bees they kept it secret
by Timothy Steele
"And these, small, unobserved . . . " —Janet Lewis
The lizard, an exemplar of the small,
Spreads fine, adhesive digits to perform
Vertical push-ups on a sunny wall;
Bees grapple spikes of lavender, or swarm
The dill's gold umbels and low clumps of thyme.
Bored with its trellis, a resourceful rose
Has found a nearby cedar tree to climb
And to festoon with floral furbelows.
Though the great, heat-stunned sunflower looks half-dead
The way it, shepherd's crook-like, hangs its head,
The herbs maintain their modest self-command:
Their fragrances and colors warmly mix
While, quarrying between the pathway’s bricks,
Ants build minute volcanoes out of sand.