chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Tag Archives: garden

found poem: nighttime

found poem: remember

found poem: practicing

found poem: in Emily’s garden

found poem: a shared language

found poem: the stay-at-home

Subjectiv Journal


The evolution

For a while, in the first months
of the pandemic, you feared your hands:

that they might be the engine of your destruction,
grab from the air, from book or doorknob,

newspaper or broccoli, the errant cell calling
to your lungs. Those hands, lathered, rinsed,

laundry hung out in a dust storm, dragged back in,
washed again. And your face, itching, yearning

for them, abandoned lover. Later, the air itself
became suspect and you held your breath on the trail,

in the grocery store, at the mailbox. Yet, shocked
by your isolation, your fear of contamination,

you came to enjoy the whims of unstructured days,
the naps and chickadees and jigsaw puzzles.

You called old friends, cleaned cupboards, ticked tasks
off your list, learned new technology. You had

no passport, no visa for the country called the future.
The microorganism would stamp your documents,

or not. So you gardened as if someone else
might harvest the beautiful purple peapods,

the lettuce, even the sudden radishes.
And then, as predictions became less dire,

you discovered a new fear:
that life would return to normal.

© J.I. Kleinberg

found poem: in Emily’s garden

found poem: bestiary

found poem: a visceral fragrance

found poem: such a profound effect

found poem: my yard

found poem: warmth

found poem: the garden

found poem: ask the garden

found poem: imagine

with summer comes

purple allium…the industry of hymenoptera

The mason bees, which were busy in the early spring, are sealed into their private residences for the year, but now, as the day warms, a quiet air force works the garden, squadrons with clear targets and little crossover.

Purple allium bobs on long stems under the weight of honeybees, two or three on each spiky head. The lacecap hydrangeas, in full blowsy bloom, are abuzz with furry bumblebees packing yellow saddlebags of pollen. The plum trees, which have no flowers but are fat with ripe fruit, are patrolled by wasps: yellow jackets, paper wasps, hornets and thread-waists of various description.

Hard bee bodies click against sunlit windows. In shady spots near the house I discover (and discourage) starter nests — walnut-size clusters of cells or the first tender layers of paper. As I pull weeds, I find telltale traces of ground bees: chewed soil, tidy round openings.

They do their work, I do mine, mostly not interfering with one another, tending the garden, harvesting the bounties of summer.

the garden’s…

there is all this…

pink tree peony with raindrops
…a whisper of rain on the roof; spruce aglow with furry new growth; red rhododendron in full fanfare, visible from four blocks away; rain-drenched wood fence the perfect backdrop for every spring color; dogwood barking pink, pink, pink, pink; crabapple’s spill of cerise petals on the patio; a single sparrow whose plangent serenade from the top of the smoke tree persists through every hour of daylight; the blizzard of white plum blossoms now turned to fruit the size and shape of a grain of rice; an evening rainbow against a charcoal sky; the fragrance of turned soil; a neighborhood walk at dusk revealing a chorus—hundreds, perhaps—of frogs, heard but unseen in a backyard pond behind a hedge; raindrops pearling on blue-green hosta leaves; three pale blooms on the tree peony, each wrapping a luscious confection of pollen; the long, long twilight of spring…

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