Sunday, May 24, 2009

Progress Report

It's been a successful day - the two patio chairs (white metal and free from a tag sale) are now painted green to match the table. The two wicker chairs rescued from the transfer station are pale yellow and pale blue. The basil and parsley have been planted along with mint and chives in the patio herb garden and the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, swiss chard and beans will go into the garden tomorrow morning. Come for iced tea!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day's End

I am wakened every morning by bird song and in the evening, the sun is sung down by the robins and the blackbirds, the finches and the orioles, the doves and the warblers. Deep in the woods the vireo calls good night, good night and if you're lucky, you'll hear the whip-poor-will sing.

You might catch a flash of blue as a jay wings its way home or see the swallows flash their feathers over the pond water in the waning light. The sun sets slowly through the clouds, turning them pink and then mauve. They float along the horizon like galleons in full sail, headed for tomorrow.

bottom photo: my yard at sunset

oriole photo credit:

Friday, May 08, 2009

Scent Drunk

I dusted off my double-cheek seat, pedal brake bike this evening and took an after dinner ride. The air was balmy and perfumed. Lilacs are growing in profusion in yards and at meadow edges. The purple and white blooms are heavy with burgeoning florets. A large vase of them on the kitchen table and a smaller one on the coffee table make the whole house smell sweet. Lily of the valley and violets are thick along the roadside and bright yellow dandelions glow like little suns among them. Apple trees are also in full bloom. I passed one house where the drive was planted on both sides with crab apple trees. At the very end of the curve near the house, a spill of pure white orchard apple blossoms created the illusion of a bride attended by a bevy of pink-garbed bridesmaids. The plowed fields of the lettuce farm smell rich and brown and earthy; everywhere else an abundance of green growing things fairly shouts with the exuberance that is spring. This time of year I am punch-drunk on scents.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sonnet to the Bean

A fellow blogger, Genie, mentioned in a recent post that she was attempting to compose a sonnet to the bean. It tickled my fancy. Herewith is my first attempt. I find the rhyme scheme of a sonnet difficult and awkward (Shakespeare is a tough act to follow) so this may be modified at some point.

A bean seed buried deep will yield a plant,
and every plant may yield two dozen beans;
thus every bean bush rising is the means
of filling dinner plates that will enchant
the masses who have found them to be scant
through snowy winter months without some greens.
Now every diner at the table leans
in the direction of the simmering plant.
A bean is such a small thing and it can’t
compare itself to garden kings and queens
like the cauliflower’s pale unfolding scenes
or like the princely pumpkin’s gaudy rants.

The humble bean holds up its purple flower
and silently awaits the cooking hour.

photo credit:


mine is a life of things—
my grandmother’s eggbeater,
the green painted handle
worn smooth
by the same hand that fed the hens
and gathered the eggs,
that measured the salt
the flour, the milk
and flipped the pancakes
as I do now

like the cradle fashioned by
my grandfather’s hands,
that held first the grandbabies
and when they had grown,
the great grandbabies

and now cradles my childhood dolls

like the jackknife that lived
in my father’s pants pocket—
that freed tangled kite strings
and fishing line, opened can tops,
cut forked branches
for roasting marshmallows

things like my mother’s
green china teapot—
memories pouring from the
spout, as warm and welcome
as the lemon cookies on
the saucer underneath my
own cup