The Planting

I am absolutely astounded at myself in reference to this piece of literature that I have just written. I was contemplating in my mind the poem “What is a Dream?” that I have been working on for over a month. I had been researching, on line, different approaches to dreams by different poets: Shakespeare, Yeats, Dickinson, Frost, Etc. I came across an American poet named Gary Snyder. I was reading his poems and was struck by their different structure in that they didn’t rhyme. I have read other works that were to me disjointed and to me non sensible such as Ezra Pound. I am amazed that Pound is even famous being his work is so harsh and to me disquieting.

I had been working in my garden this day and planting shrubs and moving others. I believe this to be hereditary because my mother could make a fence post take root and it seems I have a green thumb also as did my brother, Gene. I enjoy putting my hands in rich soil and making things grow, enriching the soil and being a steward to my domain. I have often pondered the duality of my soul because I am a fearsome warrior but also a farmer and husband to the earth.

It just came to me to write about my connection to the earth and soil and to all living things. I proceeded to the computer and in thirty minutes had the draft you see below. It doesn’t rhyme but is beautiful in its own context, a simple narrative of a sublime experience.

I am so satisfied with myself that I could shout out loud. I pondered using giggle but I am too homophobic to consider using that word. I am truly pleased with this piece and astounded at its spontaneity, it came so easily.

I may make a second attempt at making it rhyme in that it’s the way I like to read them in sort of a sing-song lyrical. I read Shakespeare and am continually amazed by the genius of his works. Shakespeare’s words are old English but flow with such rhythmic continuity that I am amazed, enthralled, impressed, I can’t find a word for the way it affects me.

The following poem is probably the third edition of this poem since I continually revisit them and edit them. Enjoy

High upon Sonoran Plain

Where mesquite and cactus reign

One Brave River, a trickle flows

Alas! A Burning wind doth blow

Pristine garden, walled all about

Tranquil refuge from that without

Verdant greens amongst desert pose

Hibiscus, myrtle and climbing rose

Grackle, sparrow and mountain jay

Doth frolic in the birdbath play

Fluttering wings, while doves careen

Wing Wings startle, love birds preen

Bantam cock struts and crows

Sebright hens in feathery boas show

Feline cats do sneak without

My labs alertly sniff about

White hair, sun bronzed skin

Gnarled, weathered and reedy thin

The old man views this tranquil realm

Studiously planning his next quotidian whim

He slowly kneels as if to pray

Brushing aside the leaves that lay

He scrutinizes this earthen vase

As a sculpture would his marble case

Is there something esoteric here?

Some cliver secret to see or hear

Is there treasure to be found?

Perhaps God'd infinite mystery bound

With sword blade he thrusts

Deep stabs, cleaving terrain crust

Twisting, piercing Adam's bust

Smelling that pungent earthen musk

Bone like roots, vein like twine

Patina-id stones while mica shines

Visceral disembodiment, blooded leaves

The pastoral surgeon quickly cleaves

A wiggler contorts, severed in twain

Blissfully ignorant of its nerveless pain

Calloused hands in earthly bowels

Grub mashe! How gross! How foul!

Dark soil, touched and caressed

The potter shapes an earthly nest

Defining the hole with meticulous ease

This receptacle of life if you please

The good steward proceeds with haste

To nurse that which he laid waste

To bind and heal the gaping wound

Ere it fester and decay to soon

A soothing balm of woodsy mulch

A spattering of miscellaneous stuff

Nourishment dropped by barnyard birds

Gross nodules of off white turds

He gazes upon the altar he's made

To the God of this primordial glade

Where man did first plant seed

To make his bread and brew his mead

He offers up the life least it fade

That tender sweet seedling blade

Plucked from its plastic womb

Fragile, weak and shabbily groomed

He places it gently in it's earthen bed

As a Mother holding her child's sweet head

Caressing and coddling its tiny girth

Clothing it in a comforter of earth

Patting firmly whilst smoothing folds

Tucking, prodding, supporting the whole

He moistens the earth to quench its thirst

Proudly admiring this beautiful first

Mother Earth is to whom it must sing

To whose bosom breast it must cling

The old man is but its nanny fair

Husbandly hoovering with attentive care

He stands and steps aside

To remove his shadow under which it hides

To radiate it with the morning sun

So freely given so amply done

Turning to the light as the seedling must

Paying homage to that which sustains us

The old man too lifts up his face

Acknowledging God'd infinite Grace

This earth too will soon be his bed

A worn out old body laid dead

His soul shall soar to worlds unknown

For he is blessed his stewardship shown


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