A Belabored Gardening Metaphor (#poem)

shallow focus photography of green leaves
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Fertility varies from place to place.
In my hometown, cilantro would take over
The yard if you weren’t careful. Some
People don’t like the smell, but I loved
The fragrant flood of mulch and pollen
Whenever I mowed. (It was the only joy
I found in mowing.) A cilantro haze
Always encircled by volunteer chilis
Standing as spicy sentinels guarding
The perimeter of the lawn with indifference.

In other places, the peppers and coriander
Do not volunteer but must be coaxed
From the soil with care and determination.
You must remember to bring them inside
During the cold months (and most are).
A grow light helps, too, one would think,
But the natural growth and abundance
Of abandoned plants has left me.

And could anything be more appropriate?
My own vitality, once uncontrolled and
Forever stretching to new patches of
Fertile soil must now be coaxed awake
Each day and issues a constant threat
Of “failure to thrive.” My arthritic hands
And semi-repaired bones strain to put
New seeds in fecund ground and wait for
Life to emerge each spring. But still
The light, the air, the soil trigger some
Urge, some will to unfurl once more.

Cultivating Life (redux)

As Eliot would say,

I buried the corpses dutifullyIMG_3180

In the garden last autumn

With hopes of ghostly greetings to come.

 

Now, feeding them with

Spikes and multicolored fluids,

I wonder how they will arise,

Whether they will rise.

 

A regeneration, perhaps,

Or a redemption for

Last year’s cataclysm

Of paradoxical fecundity.

 

How does the overgrowth

Thrive so heartily

When I’ve launched such

Devious plots against it?

 

How does the life

I’ve coaxed so tenaciously

Defy me with such a persistent

Affront to my unfounded optimism?