Saturday, 22 February 2014

Gardening in February


The first protruding points of peonies,
In rhubarb red, appear, above the ground,
(With promise of crimson cabbageness)
Beneath dreadful leather remains.
And in my sudden start-of-season-rush
To remove the withered deadness of the past,
I crush them underfoot,
Squash the prospect of oriental perfection.
Every year my enthusiasm
Bursts out in this clumsy carelessness,
Curtails the life of some poor living thing,
Reaching for the light, because it's spring.


Dried stalks, whose brittleness
I take for granted, wrongly,
Resist the bashing, dragging of the rake,
Remain erect rebelling, stiffly standing,
Above the hummocks
Low and pleasing
For whose sake
I have it in my mind that spring's commanding
Me to wield my weapons
And to take
No prisoners, leave no trace
Of autumn dessication,
Deny everything a place that isn't new,
Build up the bonfire for the evening.


And yet intransigence is quite appealing,
And I sympathise as I grow withered too,
But these old and hardy things are still expanding,
Sharp, swift, secateur decapitation
And digging out's the only thing to do.

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