Yet Another Bowl of Strawberries!

STRAWBERRIES

There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held in mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurrying the feast
for one to come
the empty plates
laid on the stone together
with the two forks crossed
and I bent towards you
sweet in that air
in my arms
abandoned like a child
from your eager mouth
the taste of strawberries
in my memory
lean back again
let me love youlet the sun beat
on our forgetfulness
one hour of all
the heat intense
and summer lightning
on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates

Strawberries just seem to be created for romance…summer…beauty.

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. Jules Renard

Sharing a Garden Walk With Mom and Dad

My parents have everything to do with my love for gardening. While I’ve only ever had a very small back yard, I make an effort to create beauty there every summer, in part because of the passion that my Mom and Dad inspired.  They are so far away that it is impossible to share the changing colour and new blooms, the fruits of my labour.   In fact it was via skype that my father informed me that I need to transplant those little strawberry trailers back into the garden.  I’ll do that today!  I love you, Mom and Dad.  Enjoy the walk with me this morning through my little garden.

Green

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A child said, What is the grass?

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
luckier.

Walt Whitman

Strawberries

Mary’s Strawberries

The strawberries have multiplied so much the past few years that my son, James and I are going to build a second bed. 

The day that I heard the news that Mary had died, I was crushed.  I was painting a huge wall mural in the Chapel at the time.  I started writing her name on the wall over and over again and planned my drive to Lethbridge.  I would join the music ministry for her ‘Good-bye’ Mass.
 
After the church service, Pat and I went over to Mary’s house and cleaned up the gardens.  Mary was an amazing gardener!  I’ll never forget what she looked like.  She was so short and spritely, but she would dawn her hat and her gloves and spend hours stooping over her vegetable gardens.  Never have you seen a harvest like the one that would yield from Mary’s garden. 
 
As a reminder of all that she had created in the spring and in the summer, I dug up four of her strawberry plants and a couple of her large irises and planted them in the evening, when I arrived home from Lethbridge.  I remember the mosquitoes were biting like crazy that year, as well!  Thank you, Mary…for being an amazing mother, for your spirituality and for your garden.  You are a part of my own ‘magic’ in the backyard…always will be!