Garden

1. Definition // 2. Chirimoya Serenade // 3. Ox-Eyed Daisy // 4. Cosmos // 5. Thanksgiving

1. Definition

I am learning the chirimoya,
word of the Andes,
how the ancient insects
seldom find its flowers, now,
I pollinate them
with a brush, my hands,
to swell the fruit, full,
not quite round,
ripe as soft flesh
under skin that peels
to a white mass,
cool and milky gift
of Pachamama, she who stood
on the crescent moon
for this side of the planet
when it never had heard
of Greece or Rome,
chirimoya, Quechua word
that means cold breast,
the food before names,
before spoons and teeth
came between our lips
and what they murmured for.

Published in Epicenter


2. Chirimoya Serenade

Let me sing you into season,
green lovers of spring,
that sweetens your white flesh to platinum
and opens the dark, sleepy eyes
of your seeds in their chambers.
Let me sing you the time
when summer hesitates
before the Andes, and you respond,
every booth in the market
faceted with your emerald promise.
I stand at the wrong equinox,
hungry with memory,
and still the days are half black and half white.
Take the song from my hand.
Do not let the time be past.

Published in Dream Fantasy International


3. Ox-Eyed Daisy

A simple ring of white petals
point inward, a map, a chart,
a drawing of a flower,
schematic and clear to
the pollinating world,
an icon of sunlight, its
whole agenda is to make
new things grow from
its golden heart, the center
where desire is not a place for
souls to vanish but a place
to start building the next bright
petalled, swirling thing.

Published in Potomac Review


4. Cosmos

The seed is small and foolish,
the plant self-centered grown,
each bud a globe set feathered
in a pointed crown,
vain petals like a pinwheel
drop in a sudden shower.
Who would name the universe
after such a flower?

Published in Plains Poetry Journal


5. Thanksgiving

On a November day, the garden store
stacks a display of mulch and birdseed
on its open porch. Buyers come and go
for chrysanthemums, rakes and barrows,
autumn merchandise, and are surprized
to hear a congregation of sparrows
who’ve found a corner torn in a
bag of millet, and call their friends for more.
It seems when the universe is kind to birds
it is unkind to merchants, unless
they are prepared to take the song as reward.
The singer doesn’t know enough to be thankful.
Remember this when times are hard.

Published in Advocate

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