Reticent but boundless,
it waits until you see it; thereupon
rewards you with a soundless
explosion of tasks that must be done
immediately; brownish patch of lawn,
rough borders, bushy places
tug at you as urgently as sun
draws upturned faces.
Down on your knees!
The hydra-headed garden spirits shout.
For every inch of progress that one sees,
a hundred new chores sprout.
Pretty to think that while we weed or rake,
bathing in an ecstasy of green,
our semi-conscious minds can undertake
decisions about what cannot be seen,
wordlessly pondering what next to do.
Garden as hothouse of inspiration?
It would be just as true
to posit poetry or composition
as compost for whatever growth will burgeon
in next year’s garden. Fresh notebook, new pen
present themselves in virginal condition:
pristine tools poised for origin.
But gardens never bloom ex nihilo.
They always were. It’s we, in medias res,
who grunt and groan and think we make things grow.
After we’ve left the place,
having mulched the beds when August’s done,
the glossy green that’s relegated to
the growing season of a winter mind
will put forth leaves again. Will I? Will you?