chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Tag Archives: March

found poem: the light

found poem: in the time

measuring spring…

29 March 2012 - plum blossomsYou must get tired of hearing about the plums, she said. There was no reply. I could, instead, tell you about how green knots split into tight fists of velvet-wallpaper red on the first rhododendron. Or describe the sturdy rust-washed stalks of the peonies, now half a foot tall. Over here, the daffodils, bent and discouraged by the wind, have nonetheless begun to lift their cheery faces. And the daphne, a sensitive and fussy plant, I was told, is thriving, glossy and covered with modest pale green flowers that should smell like the front door of heaven, but have absolutely no scent at all.

But it’s the plums that greet me when I lift the blinds each morning; they are the yardstick by which I measure the retreat of winter, the advance of spring. The picture that recalls the juicy purple fruit of summer. Will the blossoms, now fading and shriveling, hold on through another night and day of gusts and rain and charcoal clouds, bees dozing wherever it is that bees doze? Or will I have to buzz around the blooms myself to nudge and urge and pollinate?

White petals freckle the ground between green spikes of iris. I stoop beneath low-slung branches and whisper to the plums, hang on, hang on.

the increments of plums…

plum tree ~ 11 March 2012In my memory, the plum tree buds one day and blasts into bloom another. But no. These trees are wise to the moods of late winter, the frolics of wily spring.

When frost still coats the soil, the first sign of budding bulges from the twigs, hardly more than a fattening. Then these bumps separate from the wood, assume a roundness, tiny as mustard seeds.

Gradually, imperceptibly, over many weeks, they expand, and twigs freshen, the color of the tree taking on a pale green that plumps and lightens with each passing day.

Now, in the drenched and windblown not-yet-spring, green buds have cracked to show the white petals still knotted beneath, and two or three, their throats filled with rain, have spread their white skirts, released their delicate must, to invite the yet-slumbering bees.

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