Poetry from the Garden

Cherry Tomato, take one

the pop of skin–

a rush of sweet and sour
to your tongue

like when you bite
your ripe lip

 

Cherry Tomato, take two

the bite of sudden thunder
a skyful of rain—
sweet relief
tinged with the sour end
of blue skies

 

I love growing cherry tomatoes. I buy small plants in May, transfer them to large patio pots, and water them every day. For this small amount of work, the pay-off is huge. We get bite-sized red and yellow tomatoes for months. They never even make it into the salad because we eat them straight from the vine.

Before I wrote these poems, I went out to the yard and harvested all the cherry tomatoes I could find. I put them in a bowl next to my computer. I ate them one at a time, thinking: how do I describe the experience of eating one? How do I put a taste into words? I tried a bunch of different metaphors, including the two above. In the second version, I kept going back and forth between skyful and mouthful. Which version of the poem do you prefer? Which word–skyful or mouthful?

I’m happy to be back this week. I’ve missed celebrating Poetry Friday with all of you. Life and parenting has been a little too complicated and time consuming lately for me to blog as much as I’d like. While I was away I had a thought about the poems I post here. I think they’re kind of like sketches–they aren’t first drafts and they aren’t fully fleshed out and polished poems. They’re like the doodles you might find in the margins of someone’s biology notes. I’m not saying whose.

For more Poetry Friday fun, visit Amy at The Poem Farm.

Did you notice my new look? It’s all thanks to Gabe Seiden at Connect4Consulting. Thanks, Gabe!

Magic Seeds

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Magic Seeds

Seeds for sale!
Magic seeds for sale!
A dozen for a dollar
or a tired old cow.
Each striped sliver
small enough
to fit on the end
of your finger
contains
ten feet of stem,
a dozen leaves,
and a flower
the size of a pie.
But that’s not all,
you also get
a buzz of bees,
a visiting of goldfinch,
a season of “wow!”s,
and a thousand more
magic seeds.

 

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

Cherry Blossoms

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I lose my pen
among the petals…
cherry blossoms

 

How foolish it is to try to write a haiku about cherry blossoms, but how can one resist?

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

Who?

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Who?

Who was here?
Who came by
last night
and did all this?
Who ordered
the spring green carpet
littered with
yellow polka dots?
Who rolled it out
as far as I can see?
Who carpeted
the forest floor
all along the corridor
between the stream
and the wall of trees?

 

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

Violets

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Violets

Among the common blades of grass
a wink of purple
a tease
to draw you towards
the violet’s
bearded monkey face
gaping at the sun.
They grew by my grandmother’s front door
which even strangers never thought to use.
My grandmother died.
They sold her house.
But here beneath my feet
a violet winks
and I am back
beside her canvas shoes
stooping
for a closer look.

 

Happy 11th Day of National Poetry Month! That means it is also day 11 of my backyard treasures project. This week I wrote about: a wall, hyacinth crumbs, the rain, a sweet gum ball, half an empty hickory shell, the color green, and violets.

For more Poetry Friday visit Michelle’s blog birthday bash at Today’s Little Ditty.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved