by May Swenson
in a row in the garden
shrill with light.
brings earliest models out
each April the same,
naïve and classical.
Look into the yolk-
alert with echoes.
Say hello to time.
God Says Yes To Me
I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes
Girl In the Doorway by Dorianne Laux
She is twelve now, the door to her room
closed, telephone cord trailing the hallway
in tight curls. I stand at the dryer, listening
through the thin wall between us, her voice
rising and falling as she describes her new life.
Static flies in brief blue stars from her socks,
her hairbrush in the morning. Her silver braces
shine inside the velvet case of her mouth.
Her grades rise and fall, her friends call
or they don't, her dog chews her new shoes
to a canvas pulp. Some days she opens her door
and musk rises from the long crease in her bed,
fills the dim hall. She grabs a denim coat
and drags the floor. Dust swirls in gold eddies
behind her. She walks through the house, a goddess,
each window pulsing with summer. Outside,
the boys wait for her teeth to straighten.
They have a vibrant patience.
When she steps onto the front porch, sun shimmies
through the tips of her hair, the V of her legs,
fans out like wings under her arms
as she raises them and waves. Goodbye, Goodbye.
Then she turns to go, folds up
all that light in her arms like a blanket
and takes it with her.
This Himalayan blue poppy survived another winter in my rock garden...hope it blooms in a couple of months like it did last year.
"This attractive plant has loose rosettes of light bluish green leaves and striking saucer-shaped blue flowers in summer. It is considered a challenge to grow by even the most experienced gardeners but is worth the effort. The amazing blue flower color is a traffic stopper.
Best grown in partial shade in a sheltered location in cool, moist, well-drained soil. They can be grown in full sun in far northern climates such as Alaska and Maine. 48”x18” Deciduous.May be short-lived, particularly in sodden winter soils. Native to rock crevices and thickets in the Himalayan Mountains. Hardy to -40 degrees F. Papaveraceae, meconopsis"
Maps the half-remembered places
I have come to I while I slept—
Continents a dream had kept
Secret from all waking folk
Till to your face I awoke,
And remembered then the shore,
And the dark interior.
The Jack Story
There was the Jack of the beanstalk story, and a Jack Sprat who could eat no fat. And there was Jack-in-the-box who used to spring out of a box for no reason at all. And Jack who broke his crown fetching water with a certain Jill. Not to forget little Jack Horner, or the Jack who jumped over a candlestick. . . .
Theirs is a club of Jacks. Grown old they are all drunks. Jack Sprat’s a bloated sot. Jack of the beanstalk has long ago drunk up all his beanstalk wealth. Jack who used to spring out of a box now lies at the bottom of it in his own vomit. Little Jack Horner just sits in a corner nursing a bottle of rye, saying, What a good boy am I. And the Jack who used to fetch water complains that he still misses Jill, and all the wondrous falling they used to do. . . .
—Russell Edson (1935- )
My Father and the Fig Tree
For other fruits, my father was indifferent.
He'd point at the cherry trees and say,
"See those? I wish they were figs."
In the evening he sat by my beds
weaving folktales like vivid little scarves.
They always involved a figtree.
Even when it didn't fit, he'd stick it in.
Once Joha1 was walking down the road and he saw a fig tree.
Or, he tied his camel to a fig tree and went to sleep.
Or, later when they caught and arrested him, his pockets were full of figs.
At age six I ate a dried fig and shrugged.
"That's not what I'm talking about! he said,
"I'm talking about a fig straight from the earth — gift of Allah! — on a branch so heavy it touches the ground.
I'm talking about picking the largest, fattest,
in the world and putting it in my mouth."
(Here he'd stop and close his eyes.)
Years passed, we lived in many houses,
none had figtrees.
We had lima beans, zucchini, parsley, beets.
"Plant one!" my mother said.
but my father never did.
He tended garden half-heartedly, forgot to water,
let the okra get too big.
"What a dreamer he is. Look how many things he starts and doesn't finish."
The last time he moved, I got a phone call,
My father, in Arabic, chanting a song
I'd never heard. "What's that?"
He took me out back to the new yard.
There, in the middle of Dallas, Texas,
a tree with the largest, fattest,
sweetest fig in the world.
"It's a fig tree song!" he said,
plucking his fruits like ripe tokens,
of a world that was always his own.
-Naomi Shihab Nye
1A trickster figure in Palestinian folktales