Who wants to hear a political opinion? Not me. Overloaded, I won’t add to the mix. Which leaves me wondering what to post. I had something in mind but it’ll have to wait until next time. I’m hosting Thanksgiving and running out of time. I present you with my poem “Overlook,” which originally appeared in The Stony Thursday Book, a Collection of Contemporary Poetry, (No. 8, Autumn 2009), edited by Ciaran O’Driscoll, and published by The Arts Office of Limerick City Council.
BTW, in case you missed it, I posted a poem (“Never marry a writer”) about NaNoWriMo on Medium–you can check it out here.
Peace, love. and solace
and the gerbera daisy
planted in May makes
its first appearance—
I think I’ll write a poem
about it, how for some of us
it is almost too late when
we decide to bloom
like this gerbera daisy
facing the faint light, heedless,
just like Aesop’s cricket.
Next day the frost doesn’t
come and the poem doesn’t either
and that gerbera daisy, its pink head held high,
blooms, flattening its petals for full-face exposure.
I pull dead impatiens and coleus from
the pot and the daisy stands straighter,
spreads it green dandelion-like leaves.
Another one peeps from below,
charmed like a snake dancing,
and the poem is about second chances;
how it’s better to have one week in November
than none at all–the whole
better to have loved and lost thing
without the love part, with just the part about
hard scrabble existence in a clay pot.
Sometimes it works out okay,
that’s what the poem would say,
blithe and happy as one can be considering death.
Veterans Day and the two daisies
seem happy as weeds.
A ladybug I flick off the edge of the pot
does not fly away but arcs to the deck with gravitas.
I’ll take the flower in, I think,
re-plant it to winter in my temperate home.
First I’ll decontaminate it in the garage
then re-pot it, and it’ll soldier on.
Now the poem is about how sometimes
we need to be rescued and sometimes we are.
The plant will flourish as the family’s floral pet;
maybe this should be like a children’s tale–
The Little Engine, The Ugly Duckling,
The Castaway Toy—happy endings all.
Every time I park my car I remind
myself to take care of that plant.
But there’s never any time
and soon it withers between
its dismal companions: a bag of charcoal and gardening shoes.
Come Christmas, I need room to hide the presents
and store the party supplies, so I do one last cleanup
and unceremoniously dump the pot
into the closest patch of earth.
The soil is a clump of roots
and drainage stones, and the empty pot
goes on the shelf with the others–
its space on the floor now taken up
by a six of Stella.
This poem is more likely now, more like life.
The plant got a couple days in the sun–
not enough–and the promise of something better–
not fulfillment–and it ends up dead and recycled;
a plot that is truer to the organic nature of
of any plant’s story. We all die.
Some have summers
and others a final gasp in November.
Sometimes the gardener is benevolent,