The Sunday Salon: Poetry #1 - The Backyard

Good Sunday morning to all. I had hoped to have a wide variety of poetry read by this afternoon. But the weather and garden have other plans. Yesterday it was as though someone flipped the Spring switch -- leaves and flowers have popped out everywhere, bees and flies are waking up (and disturbing mid-afternoon naps), the grass is suddenly too long for the push mower. Best of all, it was warm enough to start the morning on the deck with a cup of coffee -- and to end it that way too. After the sun went down the air was heavy with the scent of fruit blossoms and neighborhood barbecues.

Days like this, I feel like Dorothy, her house landing with a thump in Oz, the door opening from black and white to blazing color. Song sparrows and robins welcome me to Munchkinland. I follow the yellow brick road to the garden, which is starting to look like the Emerald City with all its greenery.

So instead of reading poetry this weekend, I am seeing it, smelling it, hearing it in the trees and flowers and birds.

What I observed in the backyard:

Crows build a nest high in the fir tree 2 blocks south;

Plum blossoms fall, catch a small breeze, flutter over the garden like fairies;

Squirrel contemplates how to get to the feeder hanging from the apple tree; she hangs upside down on the ropes and twirls as if on a carnival ride;

Blue jays in the forsythia fight -- or mate; sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference;

At dusk a hummingbird fills up on currant flower juice;

In the walnut tree, a robin tries out her entire repertoire; always the last to bed and the first to rise.

I am embraced by the heavy scent of fruit flowers after nightfall.

I freed the lettuces and chard and brassicas from their greenhouse yesterday -- rather like sending your child off to the first day of school. Tempting to get up in the middle of the night and do slug patrol. The soil is rich and soft and loamy, due to all the good compost, the "green manure" (crimson clover) and the shredded leaves that protected it through the winter. This no-till method builds the soil year after year and doesn't tear it up with 'tiller blades. It's also really easy to pull up the clover (and add it to the magic compost pile, of course). And it doesn't have to be completely dry to do the planting (an important consideration in Oregon).

I will get to some poetry later today; probably under the apple tree in my lawn chair, after our writers' group meets. On the stack are Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Harris, Dorothy Parker, William Stafford, ee cummings and Emily Dickinson. Meantime, there are carrot and beet seeds to plant. I hope your Sunday is as luscious as mine!


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful garden. After all the snow and rain we've had this week, not to mention (definitely please don't mention) the hail I got caught out in yesterday, my plot is just too wet to get onto at the moment and beginning to look really ragged and neglected. This day last year was the warmest April day on record. I think we're trying to redress the balance this year and bring down the average. Frosts again tonight!

Wendy said...

What a lovely post, Terri - you have transported me to your backyard and it is wonderful! Have a great day in your garden. We're having warm weather here as well - and I think I'm going to paint my little bisro table and chairs so Kip and I can start eating on the porch at night. :)

SmallWorld said...

Sounds like a perfect afternoon!

Laura said...

Lovely! I can't wait for my garden to reach the stage yours is in now! I just posted about my gardening efforts today, here.

Anonymous said...

there really is no place like home! pretty flowers.

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