"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Summer Solstice Post That Wasn't


Summer Solstice came and went
like June bugs and fireflies
and the candle that was lit
and left on the porch.
Like the string of ash from an incense stick
that dangles in the morning light,
spent. 

In the still of the shade
a hummingbird flits
in search of the feeder that isn’t there.
The fuchsia is hung amongst long-throated flowers
but it searches for sugar water
with red number nine.
The longest-day sun slipped out of sight
like a moth in the wind and the days we were young.


Today we transplant strawberries and watch for rain. The skies are overcast and the temperatures cool. Weed the beets. Weed, weed, weed. The weeds don’t need rain and they are not bothered by pests. They’re like unnecessary adverbs and overused adjectives, like the scene that should be deleted; the finished product cleaner for the whack. Then there’s the quack grass. It’s like a run-on sentence. It runs on and on, from one end of the garden to the other, like a person with words  but no deeds.

In a weird way, I admire my weeds. I’ve learned to accept that there will always be weeds in a huge organic garden, unlike the small weed-free garden I had when I was young. I see that garden in my mind’s eye, the path to the perfect, slender cucumber warmed by the sun. I peeled it over the sink with firm long strokes. I enjoyed the day.

10 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

Even though I'm a terrible gardener, you make me want to go out and plant a huge plot and spend my days there! :)

Steven J. Wangsness said...

What a fine description of your garden. That's some of the nicest writing I've seen in a long time.

Pet said...

But you are the poet. I'm nothing but a dreamer. Even the poetic words you liked about San Sebastian weren't mine but from an article in Newsweek. I thought that was clear in the Post, thanks anyway :-)

Deborah said...

Some beautiful lines in your poem, Yvonne - I especially like the "long-throated flowers". An weeds...I try to look at them as interesting wild flowers, but then I'm not a farmer!!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Jemi,
Thanks! It's hard work but rewarding.

Steven,
Thank you so much. What a nightcap for my day.

Pet,
But dreamers and poets are one in the same, you know. The words were swell, regardless of who wrote them. I enjoyed them and you brought them to me.

Deborah,
Thank you! I've heard it said that weeds are just plants out of place. But I still don't like them!

Anthony Duce said...

I have a special place for the summer solstice, a memory of one that stood out. You wonderful words covered well all the others that have passed.
I feel so lazy not worrying about the weeds anymore. It has been so long since I tended a garden.

Al said...

Weeds can make great green mulch. Provided you dig them in before they seed!
I used to do a lot of sheet mulching too, but that was only in a garden of just over a 1/4 acre.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'll have to remember that analogy for quack grass.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Tony,
Thanks. Summer Solstice is a special day.

Al,
That's the trick, to get them before they go to seed. Thanks for commenting!

Diane,
Did you like that? I thought it was a good fit. Thanks!

The Golden Eagle said...

Beautiful poem! I love your description; it was easy to picture the scene. :)