Sunday, March 16, 2014

Terracotta lion with pink azaleas

Terracotta lion in afternoon light just a few hours ago. I've been neatening and fertilizing today. This always stirs up a lot of memories, since we have lived here almost 50 years. We had the deck built after my mother-in-law died, using the small inheritance she saved from Social Security. S laid the paving blocks around all the edges. He did a good job, setting them in sand, and wearing out three circular saws on the ones that had to be cut. They are holding up very well. The yard is a palimpsest of all the projects we did together; for many years, this garden was our shared hobby. We went shopping for plants almost every weekend during the seasons for planting. Tonight I looked at the list of things we planted written in the back of our oldest Sunset Western Garden Book. That is the Garden Bible for this area. Most of these plants didn't make it over the long haul. You can see the (now dry) tangerines still hanging on the tree. They usually are ready the week after Christmas, but this year they were ruined by the third bad frost in our years here. So they hang on the tree, still brightest orange, looking like Christmas ornaments. They are among the remnants of our quest to grow our own citrus. Over the next few days, I hope to talk about the fun we have had, and how working in the garden brings it all back.

In the Hall of Bones

Here we store the reassembled
scaffolding, the split, bleached uprights.
the knobby corner locks and braces
that held up the mastodon's
bag of wet leaves and the ivory
forklift of its head. Over there are
the planks upon which lay the turtle's
diving bell, and the articulated
rack that kept the dromedary's hump
from collapsing under the weight
of its perseverance. And here is
the basket that held the clip-clop
pulse of the miniature horse
as it dreamed of growing tall enough
to have lunch from a tree. And then
here's man, all matchsticks, wooden spoons,
and tongue depressors wired together,
a rack supporting a leaky jug
of lust and worry. Of all the skeletons
assembled here, this is the only one
in which throbbed a heart
made sad by brooding on its shadow.

Ted Kooser, from Delights and Shadows, Copper Canyon Press, 2004, Kindle location 444.

This is an elegant poem, well-realized, and just as long as it needs to be. The homely descriptions of the things the bony remains resemble is just great!

No comments:

Post a Comment