Monthly Archives: May 2014

warning label for oranges

may gasp,
                    as the skin is breached
-throwing succinct directives to the air

                                    telling you where next to move your fingers,
how to handle with a gentle -ness,
                                           exposing more flesh
as the
rough exterior
is pulled away in a continuous motion.

                                                             do not crush
this will force the pulp down
                                             to the ground, wasted.

when ready, its sweet odors  and juices 
                           may now be tasted

and consumed.

Memories…within yew, without yew

We do gardening on summer holidays.

It’s what we’ve always done.

Most of the time, it involves planting impatiens or petunias or marigolds. Sometimes, it can be more…I remember one Memorial Day weekend when I boldly decided to rip out a row of old growth yew shrubs from the front beds of our house (at the time). I was intent on creating new flower bed spaces and getting rid of an old shrub that I could no longer shape into anything attractive (think basic geometric shapes, 3-5 feet in size). And while yews have their redeeming qualities (they are evergreen, offer an herbal remedy for rheumatism, potential cancer cure in taxus, and they make awesome hedgerows for mazes), it wasn’t doing anything for our curb appeal.

In taking this on, I did have some concerns: I was afraid of destroying our foundation, hopeful of discovering a lost cache of pirate gold (in Ohio….yeah), or worse yet, getting half way through and realizing that the roots extend DEEP into the ground and having to call in reinforcements to yank it out of the ground.  The foundation was ok and the treasure wasn’t likely anyway, as there have been no stories of privateers sailing up the Ohio River (plus no evidence of a treasure map in our attic).

However, the roots went deep and wide…probably 50 years deep, judging by the age of our home at the time.

The first one came out easy enough, but it was near the driveway, and I either had more leverage or more horizontal root spreading to chop. The last one was not so easy… it just laughed at me, as only yews can do. I had to dig, and chop, and wedge, and dig some more…I broke a shovel. I took a break to go the nearest hardware/home improvement warehouse and buy another shovel. I think I borrowed a chainsaw or an axe from a friend. It’s all a blur now.


Finally, I won.


I chopped it into submission, and dug it out. And laying sprawled on my back on the lawn, I realized that I was free from the yew. I still had landscaping to do though, with building a retaining wall, adding soil, planting cute little boxwood shrubs (that I wouldn’t see grow to 50 years maturity- it will be someone else’s problem).

Fast forward to this weekend –

We don’t live in that house any more, and our landscaping issues are much easier.

I don’t attempt to do everything at once. In the last year I have dug a new bed along the back our house, transplanted a rose bush from the front to the back (because it get’s more sunlight there- and I don’t have to get stuck with a thorn every time I walk by it). I also transplanted 3 snowmound shrubs to the back bed because they would tend to grow over everything.

Everything needs the right amount of space.

In their place (this weekend) I planted gutter plants and dianthus (here’s hoping the rabbits don’t eat it). In the back, I weeded some rather large milkweed stalks (or it could have been alien pod plants – they appeared rather quickly and then put down some liberal amounts of weed killer and top soil. Then I planted some nice ornamental grasses, some yellow flowers (marigolds and begonias), and some tomato plants (I’m a glutton for disappointment).

So that’s how I spent my long weekend, and the beginning of summer.

Excuse me while I look for the ibuprofen.


Under the strentberry tree

Come, and go wand’ring for churier times,
away from the riptin and rinants, their crime,
the villor and vagell in all their retorts,
The jumb-poling penguity, wanstier sort.

Observe the small paregallow sat on a twig,
that tweets a small tune, with a purintly squig.
Clasp hold my hand without chuberous thought,
and pick up the footspeed, with clip and with clought.

And when we have reached, with flooks and with guills,
the strentberry tree with its tassles and twills,
we’ll lay in the greenier grassles that wave
and meekestly coddle the songs that we saved.

Singing through tassles, and loring through twills
with our hands embraced tightly, and our giggles that thrill
the logus with all its galand and its hue.
Your grin and my smilishness, baylishly soothed.

Come and let’s wander a churier time,
clasp my hand, coddle and purintly rhyme.


Should you be wondering “what does purintly mean,” I used a random nonsense word generator to help me with the words for this poem. The innocence conveyed by the silliness of the word choices was my goal. I often search for the greenier grassles that wave, just to have some quiet time, under a strentberry tree.

guardians of the forest

20140518_201357I am an intruder,
though the path before me
encourages that. pressed gravel
that crunches in the silence
disturbed by my stride.

further in, and I
hear the breeze
impersonate the
the moving brush,
and doves interrogate
the sound, but once still,
it cannot
be captured.

I am an interloper,
the light dims to the floor
where ancient secrets
fallen have decayed
with the years;
forgotten, though the trees in
their circumferences, remember
to punctuate the darkness
as I creep in, uninvited.