Sunrise through curtains
Backlit jacquard flowers bloom.
My winter garden.
I need no hearts of paper
fringed in doily lace.
I need no red and pink bouquets
dying in a crystal vase.
I need no gooey chocolates
(well, no more than I ever do)
I only need you. I only need you.
And I love that you need me too.
Garden dreams start early.
Barely out of January,
I imagine the earthy tang of potting soil,
the cool sweetness of spring rain on my tongue,
the weathered roughness of terra cotta pots
beneath my fingers.
In my dreams, tangles of clambering peas and beans
twine themselves Heaven-ward,
waving their white and red flowers to flag
down wayward bees.
In my mind’s eye tomatoes hang heavy,
onions and garlic tilt their lances at the sky,
and the greens march crisply, row on successive row,
out of the garden and into my salad bowl.
Then into my dreams floats the scented glory
of roses, the rioting rainbow of hardy perennials,
the colours of laughter and abundance and joy.
Do not wake me from this reverie too soon,
at least not until the seed catalogues begin to sprout
in frigid mail boxes.
Garden dreams start early.
Trees dream of summer too.
Of days filled with the laughter of tender leaves
and singing rain.
Alive with the heart beat of hummingbird wings
and the mingled perfume of warm earth,
wild flowers, and ripe berries.
Stripped and slumbering the trees bide, knowing
one day the sun will rise with new warmth,
the wind will have dulled his teeth
from gnawing on ice and snow,
and water will chuckle once more.
But for now, the trees sleep on,
visions of summer yet to be
safe within their rings.
There are daisies ‘round my door,
purple daisies ‘round my door,
nodding as the errant drops
land upon their sunny tops.
Raindrops like a leaky faucet
running a Rube Goldberg gauntlet
threading convoluted jigs
through aspen leaves and willow twigs.
Slither, plummet, then rebound
another inch towards the ground.
Gravity is gently calling
to the raindrops wildly falling.
Closer now they group then dash
apart in one last valiant splash
and leap one more time before
they bop the daisies ‘round my door.
The purple daisies ‘round my door.
There is something about an orange nasturtium.
Is it the colour, so piercingly deep and clean
and paint-box perfect?
Or maybe it’s the graceful arcs the stems describe,
like pale green, wrought iron standards.
It could be the plump little buds
with their cheeky wee spurs.
Or the open, honest leaves bouncing
merrily in the slightest breeze.
Perhaps it’s the peppery bite they add to my salad,
and yet the bugs don’t seem to relish them.
Even the seed head is perfectly turned out
in scrolled elegance, a lined matriarch
proudly bestowing her legacy upon the world.
T’was on a night, a night like this,
ice crystals in the dark
effervescing ‘round the glow
of street lamps in the park,
and chiming lightly ‘gainst the glass,
a million temple bells
pealing out a gentle prayer that
all would soon be well.
But stepping past the lamp light’s glow
another world appears
where chimes of falling ice crystals
are more like frozen tears
that steam then stiffen, salty drops
littering darkened trails
where winter sharpens icy claws
on frosty iron rails.
Along this trail a stranger came
all huddled in a cloak,
her breath puffed out along the way
like breadcrumbs made of smoke.
She looked back o’er her shoulder twice
while heading t’wards the light
but as she neared her outline blurred,
and vanished in the night.
But just before she disappeared
it seemed I caught a glance
of green leaves twined around her brow,
of flowers in her hands,
and for a second caught the scent
of some sweet garden spice
and thought I heard a silv’ry voice
sing through the chiming ice.
Oh, Summer’s walking Winter’s trails
and carries ‘neath her cloak
the seeds of warmer days to come
from moss to mighty oak.
More patiently than I am, she
is waiting for her chance
to overthrow the icy king
she’s plotting to supplant.
I wait for her to spring the coup,
for Winter, overthrown,
to melt before her radiance
as she sits on his throne.
and with a smile that melts the snow
her vernal court convenes.
The Winter King is dead and gone
Long live the Summer Queen.
But until then I watch ice crystals
play in lamp light’s beams.
and keep her plots of coup d’été
tucked safe within my dreams.
Leaves crunch underfoot.
Summer’s bones litter and drift
into the hollows.
Autumn’s ripe red scent
steeps the air cranberry rust
with a hint of loam.
She wears a golden
gown, rustling taffeta
with red petticoats.
Twitching up her skirts,
she swirls, flirts with the old man
who stands in the door.
He catches her hand,
joins her in the dance, icing
her pretty gold gown
as they waltz the night
and he draws her close to him
‘neath his snowy cloak.
Now they drift away,
fall into a restless sleep
and dream of a child
crying to wake up,
fretting for flowers and leaves
to twine in her hair.
Autumn gives her child
sunshine. Winter gives his child
a pure mountain stream
and he names her Spring
and knows that one day Summer
will woo her away.
Then they’ll call their child
Autumn, after her mother,
and the dance goes on.
Some flowers attract humming birds
and others attract bees
and some attract the airy butterflies.
I’d like to plant a flower bed,
not for aught of these,
but to attract the faeries fluttering by.
What flowers would a faerie like
and would they even grow here?
I’ve searched all my garden books in vain.
But if I were a faerie I’d
prefer the wild pink roses
to peonies all draggled in the rain.
I’d have a cloak of pussy willow,
a dress of coralroot,
and slippers from the wild blue columbine.
I’d not need imported blooms
to make a happy home
a thimbleberry bush would be just fine.
So keep your bees and butterflies
and keep your humming birds.
They’re lovely, but I’m off upon a quest
to find a faerie garden hidden
deep within the woods
and see a faerie’s wild flower nest.