In the Garden

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In the Garden

Butterfly –
from egg and caterpillar to cocoon of silk
to orange and black smear of summer
and quivering wings on Bee Balm – do you mark your age?
or do you think only of your assignment
to dance in the flowers
while we, the more evolved, fight our own metamorphosis
from cocoon of flesh to angel
arguing and resisting all the way home
to the garden.

©photo and poem by caf

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The Gardener Talks About the Gardener

the gardner

The Gardener Talks about the Gardener
“My young gardener comes weekly
to spread mulch,
pull weeds,
clean up winter’s mess.

He bends easily, shoveling, filling,
and dumping
the large wheel barrow.
The dirt flies when he comes to work, I tell you.

Time was, I could shovel all day
and go to bed at night
thinking about digging some more in the morning.

(Now my back rebels when I pick up a trowel,
and I rejoice when I can stop
to sit after weeding a bit.)

I listen to his stories,
trying to keep up with his
quick, graceful movements
but, really, I’m hoping it’s close to lunch
or even quitting time.
One more load of weeds and you’ll
have to wheel me back to the shed.

But we do have a commonality this young gardener and me.
We both have grubby hands and fingernails,
our pants are stained with earth and grass,
and we have a deep love for what we have accomplished,
for how peaceful the shade garden is,
how the mulch adds a coolness to the rock garden,
and how we work so well together as a team
the young gardener and me, an aging woman.”

Bittersweet

Bittersweet              

A Perfect Storm

Once a six month storm tore at her shutters
a hot and turbulent wind
pummeled the untanned hide that sheltered the door of a dark cave
wherein lived one of the world’s most illiterate hearts.

As she allowed the wind to help her dance in the trees
Her toughened pelt became soft as velvet
and as pliable as priceless leather
limp, whipped and limber.

In the aftermath of the thrashing torrent
tears kept her hardness soft
and as she walked in the forest
she saw Bittersweet
strewn on the path under her feet
and she rested with her eyes wide open.

©Carole Fults photo and poem

Periwinkle Wild Flowers

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Periwinkle wild flowers
dying now
Drifting on the wind
a chickadee sings her winter song
Knowing I will also die
I listen.

©Carole Fults

The Beautiful Bindweed

The Beautiful Bindweed

Things That Live Forever

Planting, watering
feeding, weeding
trimming, mulching.

Still, wherever I gaze
the wilderness has escaped
and overrun my tame, well-mannered garden.

I’ve put in stone walkways –
weeds thrive in the cracks between the stones.
I dig them out, chop up their roots –
they resurrect themselves.

I throw down cardboard, cover it with compost
hoping to smother the poison ivy patch that mocks me yearly.
It dies down and then smugly grows back.

I pour poison on the noxious weeds…
they eat it up and grow on.

Bindweed strangles my basil
while clothed in the white beauty of floral adornment
as though it were a wild Morning Glory,
it’s roots ten feet under the ground
safe from the menace of my shovel.

This earth will outlive me,
as she has outlived so many others – species and ages
and she will continue to send forth weeds
through the cracks between the stones.

So this morning I only sit here
with my coffee
looking out with new admiration
at the wild things in my garden.

by caf

©Carole Fults