Oddments

In search of story


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July 22.19

ELEGY IN A KITCHEN GARDEN

My poor beautiful tomato plant,

victim of its own vitality

lies helpless, hapless,

like my old Christmas tree.

Don’t tell me what I should do

or shouldn’t.

Doing isn’t feeling.

I tried but couldn’t,

and that is everything.

 

 

If you are a gardener, dear reader, you know that lessons grow in the garden, some of them dismal. Yesterday a rambunctious wind announced the coming of today’s blessed, cooling rain. I tried desperately to right my gorgeous Beefsteak, but my two hands and two feet were not enough. And the thunder growled.  It was with real sadness I had to abandon the rescue. If you are a gardener, you understand the feeling. It isn’t about what to DO.


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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 12.19

Wandering a nursery

as every gardener knows

risks a Chapter 11

a lien or a foreclose,

but I chloroformed my conscience

and did it anyway

wearing mental blinders

lest I seriously stray.

Then came the gardener’s gasp,

that lub-dub of the heart

and a whole new Scabiosa

leaped unbidden in my cart.

I’d never seen the like

of this particular

others that I’d grown

were less oracular.

With buds that look like berries,

florescing into pins,

whimsical and winsome

a gardener’s Mickey Finn,

it mesmerized my mettle

jellied my backbone;

it’s not my fault, of course,

that it followed me back home.

 

 


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July 3.19

Once upon a time

I was so very small

I played in a hydrangea

to me sequoia tall;

above me peeked the sky

through rosy lattice dome,

so magical the place

I wanted never to go home.

I slid down baby leaves

bright green and paper thin,

rappeled on threads of silk,

then climbed back up again.

Parasols of petals

became my firmament

as I lolled in axel cubby

daydreaming, content.

But I felt a tingling change

back to my normal size

and had to hitch a ride

with a pair of dragonflies.

I scarcely could believe

what I saw with my own eyes,

but how frabjous the adventure

you may easily surmise.

 

 

Did you know, dear reader, that tomorrow is Alice in Wonderland Day?

I didn’t either.

Usually I’m thanking S.W. Berg for his photo. This photo is mine, but the reminder to celebrate Alice in Wonderland Day is from him. So thanks, Bill. It’s good to remember that a world of absurdities is nothing new.

 


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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.