it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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take a drink just to give me some weight

Goldfinches, by the way, are totally why I plant sunflowers.

2011 08 03 garden and goldfinch 002

Well, and I love sunflowers.

Which reminds me that last night, while working on a different poem, I found a poem I wrote last year and had apparently forgotten all about. So I thought I'd share it here.

Yankee farmer with your half-acre in flowers
and your forty acres in hay;
your dust-bathing hens hunkered
in the shade of the coop--rust, white, periwinkle
(the color of a civil twilight);
your pigs in their wallow, fatting on spoiled tomatoes;
I know you.

I know your feed cap and your farmer's tan and your coveralls.
I know the dust and chaff on your boots.
I know your shaggy ridiculous long-horned Scottish cows,
the chafe of frozen knuckles in the spring night cold
as you labor with her, turning the calf so she can be born.
I know the work of harvesting onions,
the ache of back and hamstrings,
the long windrows laid to cure in the sun.

I know the cosmos and lupins,
the daylilies, butterfly bush, Shasta daisies,
snapdragons, sunflowers--the sunflowers! Crimson, lemon,
orange, streaky and clear, golden petals dipped in rust,
and each with a brown-black velvet eye--
I know the way the heavy sunflower dips and sways
under the impulsive weight of the goldfinch.

I know your turkeys gleaning in the fields.

I know your farm shares and your farm stands and your farmer's markets.
I know your green apples fallen beside the road.
I know the rocks in your field, new-turned every spring,
and the life of a limpet or a lichen clinging to the scraped dome of glacial stone.

There's forty acres in hay and thirty-nine in vegetables.
There's a spotted boar awkwardly straddling a jaded sow.
The half-acre in its untended riot lies by the road.
The neighbors think your farm pretty.

A white tree with a weeping habit
trembles but stands in the long wind,

March 2010
August 2010

It's not my best ever, but maybe I will fix it someday.

Tags: horticulture (no really: horticulture), poetry, species noted

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