Garden

The garden is a map that redraws itself daily.
Two paths meet in a head of grass.

Route of wind & route of the ichneumon,
her witching sticks tap-tap-tapping
for the green blood of her quarry.

A bumblebee circumnavigates
the purple abdomen of a coneflower
like the hour hand on a lover’s clock
which always moves too quickly,
albeit sometimes in reverse.

The sun priests of the Aztecs
thought of the heart as a flower
& the dagger as a hummingbird’s beak.
A bad metaphor can be fatal.

The poppies’ sea-green pods
swell like thought-balloons in the comics,
each one empty except for an asterisk.

Where lilies are concerned, I like
the word better than the flower,
the idea better than the word,
the lilies of the forest better than the lilies of the field.

The children were tired of lawns & streets
and being watched.
They found a blank spot in the garden’s map
& never came home.
__________

Updated to add text at 5:35 p.m.

20 Comments


  1. I like the fouth “flower”. ;-)

    What is that, gassus pipus explodidus.

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  2. I really like the poppy.

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  3. I liked the shot of the iron pipe mushroomed by hammer or maul blows, a ferrous inflorescence.

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  4. The bottlebrush grass takes on a new life like a swirling DNA string.

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  5. Hey, thanks for all comments! I hope y’all like the text I just shoehorned in. (Rebecca, I’d be curious to know whether it intersects at all with the story you read in the pictures?) I’m not sure about the pipe; I didn’t think to ask. FWIW, all these pictures were taken in the same private garden except for the last, which was just across the road from it.

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  6. I love your captions and the poetry was very thought provoking. It may be a little too early in the morning for me to comprehend it all, I might have to return later in the day after my mocha decaf :)

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  7. Sorry, I forgot to enter my name. I’m the previous “anonymous.” I guess I need more than decaf today.

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  8. Oh – a keeper, this post! The words, the photos, merge into a garden of their own.

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  9. Dave, the story I saw was about floral morphology, and followed a course from subtle little grass anthers through bolder composite inflorescences seducing polinators, followed by bold-as-brass (or iron) individual flowers which could enslave addicts or (ominiously) watch children.

    I think your pictures are much scarier than your text. Me, I take pictures of onions.

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  10. What great pictures! Thank you for sharing them with us!

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  11. Love the photos and the poems/texts . Quit trying to think of something clever to say about the comic-cigar look of the pipe after “gassus pipus explodidus” and “ferrous inflorescence “comments..but have to agree with Rebecca’s bold as brass statement. There’s something a tad ominous about the end. If we watch our children better might they then eschew the poppy?

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  12. Hi Marie – Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you didn’t take my comment about lilies too much amiss.

    pauline – Glad this worked for you.

    Rebecca – Oh good! That’s pretty much the narration I had in mind myself – more sinister than the text I eventually came up, as you say. (I toyed with the idea of including a picture of a sidewalk stencil of cannabis leaves, but decided against it since it was shot somewhere else.)

    Ava – Thanks for visiting.

    Hi, Joan – Since I never had kids, I should probably refrain from commenting on childrearing and drug use. I do think kids tend to be over-supervised today, and don’t spend nearly enough time in unstructured play, indoors or out. And I feel that the purely recreational use of drugs is disrespectful of their power.

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  13. the poppy part is brilliant …the emptiness of temporary mind expansion, the asterisks as a re-mind that it happened.

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  14. Don’t ever refrain from commenting on anything. Your fearless and bottomless creativity are a gift not to be squandered. Anyway one does not have to have kids to comment on kids and this was about humanity anyway. . . I agree on too much kid pre-programming though. Actually the picture in which the little children disappeared and never came home is a nightmare scenareo. One minute they are there. Next minute gone. Have never really forgiven the Pied Piper of Hamlin for that gig. One sort of wonders if he was smoking a pipe rather than playing one.

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  15. Yeah, those old fairy tales sure were hard on kids, weren’t they? But our Victorian ancestors believed strongly in the morally improving quality of cautionary tales, so they were pressed into service as children’s stories. Actually, from what I can tell, a lot of kids enjoy reading about the misfortunes of other kids. So, like, whatever.

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  16. Very nice – text and photos. That poppy pod looks like something from another planet. Though odd enough that it’s found on our own, I guess. On second thought, it looks like it belongs at the seashore. Like the fairy tale ending.

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