Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Ides of June

The petals are sodden,

edges frayed—stigma

shriveled like melted wax,

stems falling in heaps—

blurring my memory of

June flowers.

Long drafts of rain and

overcast skies have shrunk

the joys of aerating, mulching

and appreciating my garden

and brought us back to

overcoat weather.

In these last decades of life,

dark evil thoughts fill my

brain at the loss of each

summer day that should

have been—each sunlit hour

that never came.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Busy Little Sparrow

A busy little sparrow is neatening

up my yard again, nit-picking

tiny fits of fluff, housekeeping

miniscule debris from my

just-hatched garden.

This immigrant offspring, common

as crumbs on a sidewalk table,

makes herself at home in city

blocks and parking lots and in

my pocket garden.

Favored by God’s eye, discerned

in song and story, in thrall to

biology; she goes about

her preparations

for coming generations.

I stand en pointe waiting for the

comic sight of scrawny pledges with

open beaks and newborn notions.

As a keeper of plants, I have vested interest

in the propagation of species.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Stop Button

I’d like to freeze-frame

snap, click,

the perfect moments

of nature—when the

neon-yellow tulips are at

their smartest bent, when

the scarlet-red cardinal with

orange beak lands on the black

wire of the seed-holder, when

the blushing robin scrumps

up a wiggling worm—but nature

is never still.

It keeps

on moving and changing. Past

perfection—past lime lacy leaves,

pearlized blossoms and

rich red roses—past


right on to

degradation. There is no

stop button. No way of

holding back the eventual

disintegration that always

follows life’s finest


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Faraway Neighbors

The spirit of God extends around our entire earth, not just in our own neighborhood. Following the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the media showed scenes of Japanese people with hands folded together and heads bowed that seemed not unlike our own supplications. Our hearts extend towards theirs in mutual grief. A service of prayer and readings was held at Linden Ponds following the disaster and in our western way, we were able to join in spirit with this eastern country. Funds were collected for Doctors Without Borders in Japan. We live on an unstable planet and we see the results of this all too often. But out of disaster, comes miracles and we rejoice at the sight of a tiny baby rescued from rubble and families reunited. It was especially moving to see a Japanese flag displayed along with our own and to remember that Japan was a bitter enemy of ours when we were younger. That hatred can change to acceptance and understanding is testament that forces for good exist side by side with our darker elements.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stargazer Lily

A Bouquet of Stargazer Lilies

What a sweet-smelling Valentine’s Day gift – and a forecast of warmer days ahead. The Stargazer is a hybrid of the Asiatic and the Oriental lily. Someone has evidently been working on reducing its past pungent odor to a more pleasant floral scent. This variety, meant to be a metaphor for innocence and purity, is white with a flush of pink and somehow reminds me of white linen. The rather longish buds are a delicate pink. As they open, each petal (there are six) appears almost pure white, developing tinges of pink as it matures. The petals show off with ridges of lime green down the center. The six filaments are also lime green and have bronze anthers. It is truly amazing to watch this flower change shape and color each day, finally fading to a soft white. Stargazer Lilies are named for their habit of facing the sky as they open.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Popping Snow

The temperature dropped to minus six today—the freezing point of salt water. I’d drive out to the ocean to check but my car is frozen under several inches of snow. One radio commentator noted that the snow was “popping.” I guess she meant it was making popping noises. Maybe the noises were due to shrinkage as the temperature dropped or maybe they were caused by the snow settling under its own weight. Other weather phrases I heard recently were: “the snow should end after midnight” and “snow should continue until 7 p.m.” I’m confused by the word should – I don’t think that snow is able to decide what it should or should not do – I think that decision comes with a higher pay grade. A radio caller stated that he takes an early morning walk every day (even at minus 6) by simply adding more layers of clothing and that today he was especially moved by the still clear air and the sight of the Gibbous Moon. I must admit I did not see the Gibbous Moon this morning but the caller’s description is certainly tempting. If the temperature makes it back into the 20’s again and it is safe underfoot, I will take the risk and see what nature has to offer. Please note that all temperatures are in Fahrenheit. Although the rest of the world uses Celsius, it is apparently too difficult for us to learn new things.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Songs of the Spirit

If I could see your face

I would hold onto it

In my memory


You formed me before

I had awareness.

Before I knew it was you

Who held me.

You sent me out beyond

My ability to remember

And asked me

To seek you.

Love pierced the barrier

Between then and now.

But love did not come

With seeing.

So I grasp darkly

For a picture

That will enable me

To know you.

And I listen

For your words

Sent through time

To call me.