Spring has sprung a leak and icy winter’s reach is seeping in to teach Easter lessons once again
Impatient gardeners scurry to cover in a hurry tender plants that cannot take the chill
It’s no wonder we’re impatient to break the icy chill with shovels rakes and hoes at first sight of daffodils but in these Georgia hills there’s a saying ole timers have been paying due respect to in their swaying of novice gardeners asking for advice
When around these parts they’ve come from everywhere it seems with their green thumbs all in tow and their Callaway Garden dreams
Wait till after Easter whenever it falls due It changes year to year so your garden plans should too Especially with those tender plants that paint the summer lawns with colors in our memories eye that urges us along when winter’s grip grows tiresome and the nights are cold and long
It’s no wonder we get itching to dig the dirt again and plant a hope that one day dreams will bloom and send the fragrance of a memory from smiles of many friends
when the last light flickers and the talking heads go quiet
and the pc whirl becomes a memory
realms of data settle tightly in the frozen ethereal
and the only spark remaining is the nine volt battery
in the eveready rabbit singing let it be
Until I could say no more my words were savage grunts pointing fingers flailing arms signaling fears of some unknown offerings ascending wildly as sparks in the night whose lifetime spanned an eye blink ash falling to earth dissolved in a rain drop running down tree leaves and windows and grass blades then worm holes to who knows universes unseen undreamed unspoken
I love reading the bumper stickers that I happen upon in my daily dashes. I happened to see two on a mini van this week that presented me with one of those things that make you go “whoa” moments. These were not the in your face screaming some idiotic cause type bumper stickers. They were non-political. They were not the bumper snicker type that leave you laughing and spilling coffee. These were rather simple actually. Subtle colors, plain fonts and smaller that the standard bumper sticker size they almost faded into the silver grey paint job on the well kept van.
The top one was the small elliptical shape often seen nowadays sporting cryptic names of places and things. It simply read, when life gets hard press on.
Ok I thought just another annoying optimist. And, then I read the bottom one. Again it was plain but circular and about as large as a saucer. Leukemia stinks.
Before I get over it I’d like to say a thing or two. The Winter prayer was lost. Apparently it was mindlessly overwritten with the American hunters would make a mighty big ass army List. It struck my fancy at the time. I admit, I had a plate full. I’ve noticed with age that campaign years tend to preoccupy me. What with dead Ambassador, forsaken heroes, fiscal cliffs, gun control and other assorted crises vying for the in my face position any mishap was likely. And so it was, the Winter Prayer was written then overwritten and lost. Bytes bit the dust. What can I say? Just a thing or two doesn’t do justice. Once I thought my Bic would never run dry. As I age I wonder what the heck was I thinking about with these newfangled word processing thingamajigs. Write it down and use a good ink pen on old fashion paper. You know the kind with blue lines. One never knows when an Iranian EMP or asteroid will wipe out your electronics. Of course at this stage there are always senior moments waiting to crap on your winter prayer poems.
I don’t recall if blackberries and honeysuckle were mentioned in my winter prayer. I kind of doubt it. I am however certain that they should be included in any gardeners prayer. Deliverance from these two trouble makers are without doubt a blessing. The fruit of the blackberry makes some to die for desserts and toppings. And, the fragrance of honeysuckle wafting through the air is an intoxicating early summer delight. I am unsure if good can be found in all of Gods creations but a case would be arguably so for blackberries and honeysuckles. Nevertheless, deliver us from their evil in the garden. Left not managed their removal is painful. With the twining honeysuckle vine wrapping the thorny blackberry bramble tightly against your what ever body part is grabbed, expect a blue air moment in the garden at any time. Ah yes, winter prayers, deliver us from evil.
I am sure the blessing of deliverance from blackberries and honeysuckles this second week of February in the year of our Lord 2013 will seem absurd to most. In the recent days past much of the Northeast US of A was buried under that beautiful Southern oddity, snow. I am sweating in my flannel shirt tugging on the persistent weeds of winter and my northern brethren are snow bound. Got milk and bread? Winter brings so many inconveniences.
I don’t know if fall is the best season for writing winter prayers. It seems certain that it would be high on the list of four. The clarity and radiance of Autumn sharpens mental acuity. Heck, fall festivals are everywhere with people feeling good and celebrating the abundance of that wonderful season. Yep, that’s when the winter prayer should be written, when you are full and satisfied. Write it before the season of darkness creeps into the cold morning air making you groggy, heavy and feeling like it’s three thirty in the morning all day long. Sheesh, I’m just trying to pee and get back to bed.
Groggy and heavy certainly describe the winter season. Shorter day light hours are courtesy of the folks Down Under. I suppose when they get it we don’t. I know that’s just too cut and dried but such it is. Winter comes and things sleep. Sleepy seeds prepare for their spring time leap. The cooler, darker days caress the sleeping earth tenderly to awaken it slowly.
There are signals to its awakening. Swollen buds and tender shoots quietly proclaim their intent. A lone honey bee checking out the hood during a sunny winter day looks a little heavy on the wing. Lonesome beech trees punctuate the barren hardwoods with their cinnamon and brown sugar foliage. You can almost hear their whisper in the silent wood, we’ll rise again. Memories of a time before cotton cleared these hills still linger in their sap. Hope is their strength, their winter prayer.
Beware of winter apathy. Shed it quickly like icicles in West Georgia’s winter sun. Put on your work gloves and tend to the winter garden chores that are best done now. Divide the neglected daylilys. Pull the wild blackberries and honeysuckle. Prune the wayward wisteria. Be glad that the crocus and daffodils are awakening and that the budding red maples will, in an instance it seems, cast a cheerful pastel among the wooded hills of Georgia. Take pleasure in this season of renewal when the good stores of summer are preparing for a magnificent spring. There is so much to do you’ll find little time for those wayward key strokes that crept in unawares presenting you with The American Hunters make a big ass army List saved under the title of A Winter Prayer.
It’s an excellent time to prune the crape myrtle. Or is it? The debate goes on. Easy, don’t butcher seems to be the consensus. Not so with the lirope. Take a mower to it if you want. Ah, the rose. The mass-produced Knockouts can be pruned now. Wear gloves or not. You’ll learn. Clean up that wandering Wisteria would ya. You know it’s eating your fence. There is always something to do outside weather permitting. That caveat is all important. After all we are talking southern here. Yes we have nice days for working outside during the winter.Take advantage of it. Get some vitamin D. Work out some social networking frustrations before telling the world that it has hit the fan and you threw it. Write a collection of winter poems and overwrite it with the big ass army List. That oughta get ya going. While you’re at it wage war on the Chinese privet.
Ah, the wonderful Privet. God gave parents the perfect plant for reigning in the unruly child and what have we done. Our experts have declared the Chinese privet a harmful exotic invasive and are urging its total elimination from the planet. Parents the deck is stacked against you. Without this plant growing outside the back door of my childhood home I may have become public enemy numero uno. We’re talking corporeal punishment just off the back porch. It wasn’t a big house. Mom could make a round trip to the bush in five seconds flat. Switching was an art form Mom knew well. With four kids she had no problem managing the growth of that exotic invasive. I dare say if more homes included a well used privet hedge at the back door better behaved children would be leaving the front doors. With fewer parents so inclined to use a God-given remedy for brats the plants are getting out of control. Birds love the berries or at least the meaty part of the berry. They poop the seed out with fertilizer and before long you can’t see the forest for the privet hedge. Yea, they are a problem and so was the big ass Army List.
With this lament one might ask, have you ever heard of a backup? Well yes, yes I have but, by the third week it was overwritten. Bytes bit the dust. Had it not been for the moving of the muse on a rainy February day I still wouldn’t know. I opened the Winter prayers folder and there it was in all it’s glory, American Hunters: World’s largest army. In the words of my dear Mom, “get over it”. Well heck the way I see it Chinese privet ain’t got a chance. Come on guys get ya gloves on, there’s work to do.
I haven’t thought much about the tragedy in Newtown this week. It was just too painful to approach the details of this horror. The end of the world was fast approaching and not even that moved me. Drama reminded me of our twenty-fifth anniversary just now and I fondly recalled our early memories on Dixie Street. Twenty five years. Where have I been. I’ve had children grow up, grandchildren born and now it all seems like just a blur. A spinning of events viewed through the lens of time and called a life. Christmases and Easters and Fourth of Julys, Labor days, Halloweens and Thanksgivings all interwoven with birthdays, funerals, weddings and divorces, graduations, vacations and mundane Mondays, hump day Wednesdays, fab Fridays and mixed bag weekends. So today I’m thinking Tuesdays and Thursdays need more significance during the weekly seven. Tuesdays usually gets all buggered up every four years with that election thing going on. I guess that counts somewhat depending on your personal political bent. Bummer this year for sure. Tuesday May 20 1952 was a pretty good Tuesday. I should probably google that to make sure. Thursdays. Poor thursday. Thanksgiving is a bright spot every year. Once a year but ,what about the other 364? I really hate to pick on Thursdays but even the Mayans only had one worthwhile pick in five thousand years and, they blew it.
i’ve dispatched as many as are left on the trees
mulch they are now with more to come
the battle isn’t over until next year maybe june
in the meantime the grandkids will delight in the fun
leaves offer resonable entertainment these days
around thanksgiving every year we would rake and
race into the piles of crunchy delights
wearing their mass down to half the original
a semiretired cotton picker basket
made the perfect impliment for rebuilding the mound
on and on the day went until the leaves and we
were slap worn out
it hasn’t changed much given the evolution of the transistor
some might say it’s stupid neanderthal play
that’s ok once you’ve jumped into a pile of cushioney oak leaves
the urge for a primal scream just takes over
bring your cotton picker and rakes
smart phones are optional in low-tech endeavors
search for relevance
awkward fumbling confusing lost
pertinent to what i have no clue
sit on ice cream churns manually cranked
the swelting humidity of gerogia julys
making the rewards worth my frozen ass
banana it was flavor of the day
beneath the white oaks on dusty ellis street
where georgia granite and mortar incased the
the knotty pine of my childhood home
progress they say
we always did want an underpass
and as the years flowed and southern railways
strung longer and longer delays for folks trying to
reach the wrong side of the tracks
leaving me behind
searching for constance
in a world of crumbling granite
As I sit here scratch and ponder
watching clouds float here and yonder
making sounds of sea and surf from rustling leaves on high dry earth
Thoughts come quick in day dream fashion
not a one worth more than trashing
until occasionally there arrives one that pauses at my eye
it weighs the troubles of this world
all that plagues and pains unfurls
to shake my comfort
ache my head
makes me want to crawl to bed
in sleep too deep for dreams to reach
When I awake refreashed, renewed
all the guilt and shame eschewed
for feeling less with simple means
than those who sport some lofty dream
I am at peace for now I know
I’m just a pilgrim here below