Saturday, March 31, 2012

Poetry in the Garden: Growing Food and Hope and Purpose

Poem is the theme.

I could wax poetic for the entire NaBloPoMo month of April, on gardening. I am a total, unapologetic idiot about this—shouting and gesticulating wildly about the presence of ordinary things, like my youngest son did as a toddler every time he saw a truck. I can't get over the miracle of it. Scraps left dying in the ground, brought newly to life, volunteering to be awake again. Here is a Brussels sprout, beheaded in late September, that the following April 1 has shot new life from the stump of its neck and is thinking about trying again to wage war against the cabbage moths.

And here is an asparagus, badly photographed. Last year a fern, this year it pokes its tiny phallic head up through the mulch and announces the onset of the growing season. I will leave out several sentences on erections and vegetative Nature Gods that occur to me.

Garlic, which I simply stole from the contents of my CSA farm box and set in the ground. It appears fragile, green and sylphlike, but its purpose is to stand as sentry against various pests, holding the line for my major crops, along with herbs and companion plants.

In the front yard, daffodils unfurl and waken, like ancient faeries, long-underground, who have waited for this moment to re-emerge from hiding. I can hear them speak the Old Tongue on the whispers of the breeze.

My husband and son planted only half our yard with tulips last fall. Now, finally, the section of yard to the left of my garden path has erupted into life and is looking scornfully at its twin–a mirror that reflects the side of my family which cannot get its act together no matter how hard we all try.

I want to grow us food. And hope. And purpose. My children, recently buried under heaps of textbooks and bubbled answer sheets should feel the honesty of a spade in their hands and the accomplishment of a berry picked that was truly earned. My yard, if a riot of hummingbirds, bees and living edibles, cannot surround the house of dead souls. And so I will garden, though pain may beat me down by end of day, because the meaning in the soil, the shoots, the rot, the produce–is a poem I can't stop recanting under my breath.


  1. I don't know how to explain this, but your words are sort of chunky, like a nice beef stew. Not a thin and flavorless broth. I love them. Very satisfying.
    I'm not much of a gardener, but I'm trying. A year and a half ago, I finally planted tulips. I got so excited to see them peaking up again this year.

  2. Beautiful Tara.
    You burst into spring while we fall into Autumn.

  3. I have such a fierce girl crush on you at this moment. Enjoy every wild garden moment... Lovely photos and descriptions.

    a fellow unapologetic idiot, from Zone 7

    1. LOL. Thanks. Glad to have someone get it. :)

  4. Laughing at Marie, above!
    This happens every year. Every year spring takes my by surprise. How many have I lived through and still, every year. It is such a thrill to see things turn green again, to bud, to sprout, to reawaken. Every year I'm afraid they won't or I forget they can and then they do again. And I dance and hoot and holler like I've never seen it before.
    I love this. Thank you.

  5. Glad I'm not the only one goofily enthusiastic about the presence of ordinary things. In my house, I'm mocked mercilessly but my excitement remains undiminished.

  6. You have a great way of writing and communicating. The photos are great too!! Glad I popped over from BlogHer...

  7. I just stumbled onto this post (and your blog) and I thought this was beautiful. I hope you guys were able to grow many things this summer. Growing food is the BEST!

  8. online casino malta And I found myself, after having
    given out all of which I was yet gave way to the iniquities and
    oppression of others. He was

    My web-site: internet casino
    Also visit my web page ... internet casino


When you comment, it keeps fairies alive.

Don't forget to choose "subscribe by email" to receive follow-up comments. I almost always reply to comments, and you wouldn't want to miss that. It's all part of saving the fairies.

My Zimbio
Creative Commons License
Faith in Ambiguity by Tara Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License