Saturday, April 30, 2016

It's A Garden Party! - Happy & Hardy

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and was then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

If anyone would like to share their own gardening adventures with me - large or small, inside or out - I would love to see them.
Just leave a link to your post in the comments.

Not much new is happening in the garden this week. We had more rain, everything is growing well (whether we want it to or not), and there is always more work to do.

Here we have happy Poppies and Agave. If you look closely you can see pups under the Agave. I'll have to move them this summer so they have room to spread out.

Of course, the Roses are still doing well. I wish I could get a good picture of the whole lot together. They are exceptional this year.

(Yes, I know I don't have any Saguaro, but I couldn't find poetry about Agave.)

To the Saguaro Cactus Tree in the Desert Rain
- James Wright

I had no idea the elf owl
Crept into you in the secret
Of night.

I have torn myself out of many bitter places
In America, that seemed

Tall and green-rooted in mid-noon.
I wish I were the spare shadow
Of the roadrunner, I wish I were
The honest lover of the diamondback
And the tear the tarantula weeps.
I had no idea you were so tall
And blond in moonlight.
I got thirsty in the factories,
And I hated the brutal dry suns there,
So I quit.

You were the shadow
Of a hallway
In me.

I have never gone through that door,
But the elf owl’s face
Is inside me.

You are not one of the gods.
Your green arms lower and gather me.
I am an elf owl’s shadow, a secret
Member of your family.

from: Above the River: The Complete Poems. Copyright 1992.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Translation Is An Art, Not A Science

I found many translations of this next prose poem. A number were mechanical, serviceable, but carried no feeling. The best I found was by Beth Archer in A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry, edited by Czeslaw Milosz.

La Grenouille
- Francis Ponge
Lorsque la pluie en courtes aiguillettes rebondit aux prés saturés, une naine amphibie, une Ophélie manchote, grosse à peine comme le poing, jaillit parfois sous les pas du poète et se jette au prochain étang.

Laissons fuir la nerveuse. Elle a de jolies jambes. Tout son corps est ganté de peau imperméable. A peine viande ses muscles longs sont d’une élégance ni chair ni poisson. Mais pour quitter les doigts la vertu du fluide s’allie chez elle aux efforts du vivant. Goitreuse, elle halète… Et ce cœur qui bat gros, ces paupières ridées, cette bouche hagarde m’apitoyent à la lâcher.

The Frog
- Francis Ponge

When little matchsticks of rain bounce off drenched fields, an amphibian dwarf, a maimed Ophelia, barely the size of a fist, sometimes hops under the poet's feet and flings herself into the next pond.

Let the nervous little thing run away. She has lovely legs. Her whole body is sheathed in waterproof skin. Hardly meat, her long muscles have an elegance neither fish nor foul. But to escape one's fingers, the virtue of fluidity joins forces with her struggle for life. Goiterous, she starts panting . . . And that pounding heart, those wrinkled eyelids, that drooping mouth, move me to let her go.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We Call It A Grain of Sand

 - Wislawa Szymborska

We call it a grain of sand,
but it calls itself neither grain nor sand.
It does just fine, without a name,
whether general, particular,
permanent, passing,
incorrect, or apt.

Our glance, our touch means nothing to it.
It doesn’t feel itself seen and touched.
And that it fell on the windowsill
is only our experience, not its.
For it, it is not different from falling on anything else
with no assurance that it has finished falling
or that it is falling still.

The window has a wonderful view of a lake,
but the view doesn’t view itself.
It exists in this world
colorless, shapeless,
soundless, odorless, and painless.

The lake’s floor exists floorlessly,
and its shore exists shorelessly.
Its water feels itself neither wet nor dry
and its waves to themselves are neither singular nor plural.
They splash deaf to their own noise
on pebbles neither large nor small.

And all this beneath a sky by nature skyless
in which the sun sets without setting at all
and hides without hiding behind an unminding cloud.
The wind ruffles it, its only reason being
that it blows.

A second passes.
A second second.
A third.
But they’re three seconds only for us.

Time has passed like courier with urgent news.
But that’s just our simile.
The character is inverted, his haste is make believe,
his news inhuman.

from: Polish Poetry of the Last Two Decades of Communist Rule. Copyright 1991.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Now That We Have Tasted Hope

  - Khaled Mattawa, 1964

Now that we have come out of hiding,
Why would we live again in the tombs we’d made out of our

And the sundered bodies that we’ve reassembled
With prayers and consolations,
What would their torn parts be, other than flesh?

Now that we have tasted hope
And dressed each other’s wounds with the legends of our
Would we not prefer to close our mouths forever shut
On the wine that swilled inside them?

Having dreamed the same dream,
Having found the water behind a thousand mirages,
Why would we hide from the sun again
Or fear the night sky after we’ve reached the ends of
Live in death again after all the life our dead have given

Listen to me Zow’ya, Beida, Ajdabya, Tobruk, Nalut,
Listen to me Derna, Musrata, Benghazi, Zintan,
Listen to me houses, alleys, courtyards, and streets that
     throng my veins,
Some day soon, in your freed light, in the shade of your
     proud trees,
Your excavated heroes will return to their thrones in your
     martyrs’ squares,
Lovers will hold each other’s hands.

I need not look far to imagine the nerves dying,
Rejecting the life that blood sends them.
I need not look deep into my past to seek a thousand
         hopeless vistas.
But now that I have tasted hope
I have fallen into the embrace of my own rugged

How long were my ancient days?
I no longer care to count.
I no longer care to measure.
How bitter was the bread of bitterness?
I no longer care to recall.

Now that we have tasted hope, this hard-earned crust,
We would sooner die than seek any other taste to life,
Any other way of being human.

from: Beloit Poetry Journal, Split This Rock Edition. Copyright 2012.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It's A Garden Party! - April Showers!

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and was then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

If anyone would like to share their own gardening adventures with me - large or small, inside or out - I would love to see them.
Just leave a link to your post in the comments.

We've had a lot of rain this winter, and this is the result. . .

This is a beautiful blue Iris that my son bought for me several years ago. 

It is the only one I own that has a scent. 
In fact, before this one I didn't even know that any of them had a scent.

My Coopertina Ninebark is in full bloom.


If you look closely you will see a small herd of Pink Flamingos grazing under the Crepe Myrtle tree.

California Poppies!
They are 'popping' up everywhere.

Come Slowly—Eden
- Emily Dickinson

Come slowly—Eden
Lips unused to Thee—
Bashful—sip thy Jessamines
As the fainting Bee—

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums—
Counts his nectars—
Enters—and is lost in Balms.


My Easter Lilly is now about two and a half feet tall.

And now for the Roses!
 The bushes have just exploded with blooms. The little row of bushes looks like a solid hedge now.

Most of the bushes are white because white flowers shine into the dusk and beyond, but I have two large yellow bushes. Yellow flowers are my favorite. They are so happy.

This bush is so full of flowers that it has collapsed, but it hasn't slowed any.