Oddments

In search of story


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September 3.21: Coping

We were green once,

in salad days,

fixed firm to umbilical vine,

slowly orange,

until, soaked in sun brine,

we plumped to red.

All as written by some sightless scribe

ordaining how life seeds,

or maybe

by some deliberate kindness

in back yard dirt

that soul and body feeds.

Gardeners wonder.

 

 

With thanks to Shakespeare

and to my firstborn, Dennis, the backyard gardener.

 


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August 22.19

Breathes there the gardener with soul so dead

who never to a friend has said,

“I grew these glorious slices of red!”

 

I’ve been gone, dear reader. Time travel. My dear old high school friends, Donna and Bill, have been visiting, and we had our own private tomato fest. Tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, served with a heaping helping of boast: I GREW THESE! I believe this is my third gardening year not killing tomatoes, and I’ve not one shred of modesty about them.

The tomatoes were highly seasoned with reminiscing, laughing, and reflecting. To be with friends we’ve known since high school is a real privilege at this age, and rightly savored with summer’s bounty. We returned to gardens, tomatoes, and roadside farmers’ stands of the past, as we slathered butter on the hot corn of the present.

It is fitting to pull out the old family heirloom dishes and other eating finery no matter how casual we are. Eating together is a celebration, and a pretty plate seems the only way to go. Besides, what better way to wear a tomato?

Now comes the time of catch-up. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

 

Apologies also to Sir Walter Scott.


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Disconnections: August 4.18

 

I’ve written tomato posts before

I hope another won’t annoy ya

this is, I think, but half tomato

the other half’s sequoia.

 

For many years I’ve planted tomatoes in memory of my Grandpa Mauck. The smell of the plant always brings him back for me. Alas, the smell was about the extent of my harvest. I just couldn’t grow tomatoes. Until last year.  Suddenly those Mauck gardening genes roused up, and I had actual tomatoes! I especially loved the pear tomato, so this year I tried another one, and, even though it was planted late and spindly, and in Someone Else’s Garden, it rallied and has taken exuberance to a whole new level, racing over and through the deck rail, and draping itself over the potted plants. I know that one morning I’ll wake up and find it wound around my ankle.

A pear tomato, marigolds, zinnias, dill…as you can see, dear reader, the garden is slowly, slowly becoming mine. (MINE, you wretched rabbits and Japanese beetles and chipmunks, MINE! Not YOURS!!)


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Connections: August 15.17

Rejoice with me, dear reader,

and witness victory:

I’ve grown actual tomatoes

I’m chuffed and filled with glee!

When I walk through a nursery

the tomatoes run and hide

they know my reputation

for black-thumbed tomatocide.

An occasional single fruit

a miser’s salad plate

was the most I’ve ever gleaned

or could anticipate.

But, lo, a red ripe miracle

such glories on the vines!

I’ve danced the gardener’s jig

and changed my name to Heinz.

 

 

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