Soft percussive drops
sleet melts at Earth’s lightest touch
expressed from grey skies
becoming green things’ warm blood
by sweet indifferent magic

Posted in Gardening, Gardening, Usually Organic, Poetry, Spring, Tanka, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Spring Window Tanka

Long pine arms outstretched
greenfingered hands offering
rainglistened diamonds-
So Nature’s creatures marry
April rain to all fresh growth

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Growing School


A thousand bits of wisdom can be learned
From soil and growth as soon as beds are turned:
There grow the small but soon-tall spears of chives,
The first green to announce perennial lives.
From these and from their cousins, kale and chard,
We know that Life persists though Winter’s hard;
They follow close on garlic greens that show
The bulbs’ strong hearts kept living beneath snow.
These teach us some are strong yet still leave room
For those that need the heat to grow and bloom:
Tomatoes, peppers, and their kindred sit
Behind the glass until warm soil’s fit.
Asparagus offers much the hardest lesson:
Long patience that we must now acquiesce in.

Posted in Gardening, Gardening, Usually Organic, Patience, Poetry, Sonnet, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lines on the First Day of Planting


That spot in my down-low back
(that place where the cute girls had dimples)
where aching begins while I’m not watching
where spasms will sing me to sleep
where I creak in the slow mornings
From that place will now grow
the lilies, asters, and lavenders-
chard, orach, and sweet lettuces-
bloody beets and feathery fennels-
tomatoes shaped like hearts and flowers-
rosemary for remembrance, balm for the soul-
(but no cauliflower-rational thought
has nothing to do with this natural magic)
as Spring whispers her lovely spells to the soil-
where Summer lays down a bed for all of Life.

Posted in Free verse, Gardening, Gardening, Usually Organic, Poetry, Spring, Summer, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tanka Series for Life Underground

Iridescence rides
to soils’ surface on skins
of earthworms’ return–
Earth gives Sky back her rainbows
by such lowly means as these-

Turning the garden
reveals cities underground-
Smallest workers there-
pillbugs, worms, and fungus-
wait and turn all Death to Life-

Glisten of oil
hissing, burble and gurgle-
Water in seed pots
invites underground creatures
to join me-to try new things

No hard tiller’s blade
rushes sharp through this garden
tearing small thin skins-
Their cities were here before
will be here long after mine

My failures feed them-
They know how to love Winter
how to best serve Spring-
I would not leave lovely Life
But to become part of them.

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Cathedral Tanka

Stained glass glitters here-
music flows in this-
the wrong Cathedral–
I seek dirt, sun, and birdsong
God laughs as fresh seedlings sprout

Posted in Birds and Other Joys, Dogs, Birds and Other Joys, Gardening, Gardening, Usually Organic, Spring, Tanka, Uncategorized | 1 Comment


The monk can look into his bowl and see
What season gazes back into his eyes
And, within that same season – that same bowl
His spirit swirls, combining steam and sighs.
The garden, too, holds up the mirror to
The one who works the soil every Spring
So, looking long at cities underground,
She sees her spirit and what makes it sing.
Musician and mechanic, cop and cook –
All lose themselves in labor they love well,
And in the end know better who they are
By loving work in which they can excel.
In every mindful exercise of skill,
A mirror grows, connecting world to will.

Posted in Gardening, Gardening, Usually Organic, Philosophy, Poetry, Sonnet, Spring, Uncategorized | 2 Comments