Ode to Foxglove


perpetually grows in the garden

it seeds itself

strong splendid stems

support the deadman’s bells

it is beautiful but deadly

all parts are toxic

known since ancient times

it can be medicine or poison

purples whites and blues

form bells that tower over

only the right portion heals

remember too much kills


dVerse prompt on poisonous plants

Ode to Foxglove

Alchemy in the Garden

Transformed from a small wrinkled seed set in soil at springtime 

I hold the beets by their rat tails after yanking them out of the bed

They do not squeak or squeal as I hose them off for my dinner pot

Filled with docility and content to roast in the oven at a high degree

Except the one that got away by rolling downhill as I lost my grip

Then poof by magic it sprouted legs with blood red fur it ran

It ran to the woods without looking back and I never saw it again

dVerse prompt on magic and an edict to lighten up

Alchemy in the Garden

Garden Light

All day I worked in the garden finding the tasks that would not require repeating until spring. Weeds starting to seed must be pulled.  The thought of a thousand more of the same weed ready to sprout up when the rains come keeps me focused long  hours.  Cut off dead flowers, dead branches, anything brown that use to be green. Set some stones, pour some pebbles, mulch and take a little harvest for supper.

These plants can take the weather.  Ice will form on the pond but the lily pads will come back, the cattail too.  I find a few casualties from the dry  summer but I leave them to find strength in their roots and make a come back.  I move pots and garden art, sweep and watch a squirrel run away with a cone from the black pine.  The light through the firs and cedars changes as the sun  moves low.  The color is a vibrant yellow. At dusk the sky turns purple.

only at this time

air makes a palette for fall

paints a new canvas

dVerse prompt to write haibun touching on light coming through the trees

Garden Light


the earth rises up dusty full of grime
no rain fell for seven fortnights and a day
where once was lush green now it festers brown
plants begin to shrivel and root hairs start to fade

without a sprinkle of water these plants will die
haul out the many hoses front back and side
choose to shower stream cone flat or jet propel
let the faux rain begin to douse them everyday

see the flower lift their heads
leaves turn plump and green
tender stems move upward once again

send more moisture says soil soaked again
plants say another day of sunshine we can’t stand
now keep us growing with your mercy and your rain

dVerse prompt on sonnet in free meter


Condition of the Soil

I have been away one year short of a decade.  There is lots of gardening to do.  It is not that a man can’t tend the garden.  Yes, men can mow, turn the soil, weed whack, uproot the invasive blackberry, chop up the fallen trees and fill the wood shed.  In a little corner plant some vegetables and prune the fruit trees.


My touch calms the plants, brings nourishment and mulch to their roots.  Old blooms are removed, dead branches clipped.  I tend to little things.  See a bug before it eats the whole plant.  Build a nursery bed and let seedlings grow.  Know the life cycle of a common weed and notice the small wild dogtooth violet and try to cultivate it.  Go beyond the obvious and hope he remembers.


force beyond control

found knee deep in the garden

speak of little things

Condition of the Soil