Sunday, June 10, 2012

So late it's early

and I've an urge to type with dirt-clotted fingernails.  The day was a big snake sighting. Something dark with yellowish zig-zagging, a water snake, maybe. I couldn't be sure. I was all about getting the rusted-out wheelbarrow from the woods, all about the planting of the vegetable garden and so flip-flopped out to the little forest beyond our yard. I had the wheelbarrow in hand when the coiled thing, tongue flicking, body poised for trouble, came into my vision. A foot away and with many feet of self to spring out to me. I screamed like a girl and ran straight down the road. I called the mister over as he was eager to see the snake and alas, and of course, it was gone. But I got my wheelbarrow and tomorrow I plant the tomatoes and peppers--patient things they've been, waiting for a long-time home.

We planted the Kim-gifted yuccas. They were put through a lot of waiting too, and by the time they got into the ground there was no telling if they were bound for thriving. I hope they make it. The blossoms are amazing: big white bells like lilies of the valley on super-steroids.

The froglets this year were early and adorable. The tadpoles are seeming to do well and the mystery tadpoles are still significantly larger and have yet to give me a way to tell just who they will be.

The delphinium is blooming a color of purple that seems impossible to believe in, but there it is: all spriggy and deep, deep. I warned you that the content me was likely boring, but she is happy, Gang and tomorrow morning will be here soon. Tomorrow afternoon means setting up my roof garden plant, floral sculpture thing. I can't wait. Now, I guess, as it is pushing two a.m., I should sleep.

Here's a poem by a favorite poet and one that I fortunate to hear read recently:

Poem for Jenny

Larkspur and delphinium, wild and tame
transcriptions of the same essential idiom
(as lullaby, corralled, is requiem,
a sigh, bound and gagged, a lyric poem).
Earth's trying to remake herself with stars,
her own inky domain of skyey colors.
She wants everything. It won't be hers.
Her starry flowers, heedless of safeguards,
will launch their blue and purple rockets heavenwards
and leave her to her dusty browns and reds,
her brief sky shattered, just as words —
the good ones, anyway — will quit this page
before I ever pay this garden homage
or name the pain I'm trying to assuage.
Nonetheless, these clusters are in flower
if only for an instant, as they were
a year ago, when Jenny (this poem's for her),
knowing how I love them, put them here
to make the way around my house less bitter.
My next-door neighbor, she'd watched things shatter
and so came by to plant and tend and water
and whatever else it is that gardeners do.
And I remember catching a dim glimpse, as if through
an impossible tunnel — what's all that blue? —
and thinking, as one thinks of something wholly out of view,
how lovely it would be to lay my eyes on them,
though they were there, waiting, each time I came home:
larkspur out the back, out front delphinium
(the cultivated version for the public eye,
its wild incarnation just for me . . . )
and once or twice I did suspect that beauty
and kindliness had aimed themselves my way
but each was such a difficult abstraction,
at best unverifiable, uncertain,
a meteor I wasn't sure I'd seen.
I, who'd been so lucky up to then,
was utterly astonished by what pain —
in its purest form — can make out of a person.
It was (such things exist) a brutal season
and one that's not entirely departed
though time has passed; flowers, twice, have sprouted.
The earth will be, twice over, broken-hearted,
which means, at least, according to King David,
in his most unnerving psalm, closer to God.
Me? I'd leave some distance if I could
though it would be untrue to say no good
has come from any of this. See? out my window
the earth again has sheathed herself in indigo;
this may be the time she makes it through:
her sapphire daggers, bursting their scabbards,
carve frantic constellations: elfin songbirds
vehement with blue and purple chords;
earth's reaching for her heavens, I for words
or any chink of rapture I can claim.
Delphinium. Larkspur. Larkspur. Delphinium.
Let me claim you as you climb and climb.

Jacqueline Osherow
The Yale Review
Volume 93, Number 2
April 2005 

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