Friday, August 27, 2010


A few weeks ago, I found the two of hearts by the Joan of Arc statue in Malcolm X Park, but I've already done that card. Later that day I found the seven of diamonds on the stairs of our apartment building, so that dictated this one being done.

Seven of Pentacles
First Harvest

I just let it happen--
Bindweed's grasp and white-fluted flower,
Joe-pye weed's flesh-purple plumes shivering
With bees, sticky milk of fig sap,
Tomato fruit skin fit to burst
Slippery seeds on the ground, fennel seed falling,
Nettle, thyme blossom froth, rosemary spikes,
All tangled, all climbing, all pressing,
All hiding damp depths careful fingers
Can find, there, in the shade, the root.
And in the center, a surprise--lunaria,
Stalks wire-thin and tough, each seed pod
A coin to be spent on the future.

Here at the midpoint, I learn to lean
And let go, to poise between
The first harvest and the second planting.

Another name for lunaria is honesty. It appears to need to be cultivated carefully.

I just got another citation from the community garden about my plot being too weedy. I just let two phone calls go to the answering machine to finish writing that. I could tear myself to pieces for falling behind in every way, or I could enjoy the weeds and crickets.

I have so many damned mosquito bites, and I'll need to be outside all day and evening tomorrow. I would like to cover myself with a net. No fear, someone will be along to do just that before long, I'm sure.


Slothrop said...

Dizzyingly great imagery - "shivering w/ bees," "flesh-purple plumes," "blossom froth," "rosemary spikes," & all because "I just let it happen" - greatest poem ever on your blog. Captures w/ almost shocking clarity one's lavish feelings about late summer - that humid, straining excess, sun-fried musk, & most of all that frozen bomb-blast feeling of everything pushed to its biological limit & looming overhead in ominous convoluted heaps. I thought it was beyond words, until now.

I love poems like this; love words like lunaria & bindweed (a good friend of mine got so obsessed w/ "bindweed" she wrote a great short story about it)...weirdly enough it reminds me of stellar prose like Alice Munro's.

And a dazzling line like "each seed-pod/ a coin to be spent on the future" William Gay's description of leaves as "coin of the realm for a better world than this one." Only better.

When I get tangential it's proof that a great poem took me places!

Maria Padhila said...

you have no idea how much i needed to read that right now. people are going to suspect i'm writing my own comments, tho.
you damn well better direct me to some of your writing soon, tho!