Oddments

In search of story


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July 13.19

Two dazzling things happened yesterday, dear reader!

As you know (or not), I’ve been in the throes of downsizing. I moved into this smaller house about a year and a half ago, and that makes this my second gardening season here. If you are a gardener, you know that you have to¬†earn ownership of a garden; it doesn’t just happen. Nor does it “just happen” that a house becomes home. For me, it’s all a work in progress: this isn’t home yet either inside or out.

However, there were these two heart-stoppers yesterday:

I caught a glimpse of new color deep in a tomato plant. I was down on the ground as fast as my creaking knees would allow and, yes, there it was: the first red tomato! MY tomato! If you have read my blog in the past, you know that until recently my main claim to gardening fame was in consistent tomato-killing. I grew them in memory of my Grandpa Mauck but without much hope of eating actual tomatoes.

(Last year was The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, if you recall. The tomatoes had their revenge.)

And tuxedos in the dill! In my last house I had a magnificent dill patch and these very formal, elegant caterpillars feasted royally thereon. Swallowtails bobbed their thanks over what was left. This year the blasted rabbits ate to the ground every single dill plant I tried to grow, so I planted dill in a pot on the deck. Now come the beautiful caterpillars. Can swallowtails be far behind?

I dance a rheumatic jig and think that maybe home will happen.


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July 2.19

I am Gardener:

hear me growl.

Voracious brigands

sneak and prowl.

They come by land,

they come by air,

hordes on wing

and hordes from lair.

My harvest shrinks

with every hour

as they attack,

englut, devour.

Coneflowers! Moss roses!

My zinnia patch!

Impatiens! Basil!

Down the hatch!

I mix and sprinkle,

shake and douse;

my garden fragrance

l’eau d’outhouse.

Instead of blooms

and flowering vines,

all I see

are dollar signs.

 

 


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June 2.19

Benedick Bullfrog

you might hear

raising to skies

his ballad drear.

Part buzz-saw

part bagpipe drone

Model T horn

baritone,

it wafts to me

in lyric croak

at noon’s high sun

and midnight’s stroke.

His plaintive raspy

tuneless song

his Beatrice finds —

she sings along!

A tuba-thon

would fall more lightly

on my ears

day and nightly.

Indifferent to

my needs circadian

they rapture in

duet Arcadian.