Saturday, June 19, 2010


The guy one plot over in the garden said I can have all the thyme I want from hin. This is a dangerous offer, as I have never been able to grow the quantities of thyme I want, though I discovered a good-condition plant under a comfrey today.

I am a bad, bad community gardener. My plot is the ghetto, the trailer park, the wrong side of the tracks, what you will. Weeds and things gone to seed and real plants compete and climb over each other like some vision of lost souls in Hell painted on the wall of a Northern European cathedral. It's my bad luck that the head of the Rules Committee has the plot right next to me. She stands like the Wall between Pyramus and Thisbe, between me and the Source of Unlimited Thyme. She's got her eye on me.

I think writing poems about plants is subversive because it's what people fucking EXPECT old lady poets to do. This year the lovage and caraway went to seed, and BA sent me a recipe for aquavit.


It's the closest action
They have to manage an escape--
Send the thick shoot out
From the center, stalk
Charged with the mission--perpetuate.

Sudden, intense heat, or the
Conviction that heavens will open
If only they reach, starts them bolting.

The lettuce was first to go,
Its frills turned bitter,
Then caraway, coriander, dill.
Even the fennel, licorice-cool,
Bronze, imperious, shook its feathers
In anticipation of the end,
Raised a crown of golden pollen
That stained my face as I bent close
To taste it; soon solidified into seed.

"I have never seen so many plants
Bolt so soon," I remark to the woman
Working the plot next to me.
She hums assent, abstracted,
And scans the sky for planes.

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