planting seeds and tasting flowers during the end of days

we plant seeds in the rain today
a slow drizzle falling on our faces
as we bend over the little herb garden bed

we share a pair of green knee pads
both wearing one on our right leg like
the uniform of some rogue gardening gang

the rain beads on our slick jackets
as we sprinkle arugula spinach basil
thyme and I cannot help but think

of the ancient line about the wise man
planting a tree under whose shade he will never sit
and in these days of darkness and death

is this simple act of planting seeds an act of survival
— I pull myself from that thread of thought
and come back to the rain falling gently

the cool breeze and my gloveless hands
how I want to feel the dirt cake my palms in meaning
I want to feel the earth merge with my skin

want to take in this cycle of birth and blooming
I plant my palm-full of seeds and shuffle the soil gently
with my fingers like a spell of hope cast in the grains of terra

we plant red star and white cypress vines for the hummingbirds
and I can already see them climbing and swirling the stonewall and bamboo
spilling over with color like a watercolor

I go inside and pour us each a shot of soft rose liqueur
in the handprinted geisha glasses I got in Japan
we swirl our wrists like climbing vines and taste flowers

I’ve learned when you cheers with someone
you always look the other person in the eyes
her eyes are so blue out here like a new day against the grey

I kiss her and the rain kisses our cheeks
and kisses the newly buried soon-to-be herbs
and our first seed planting phase is done

sun— phase two up in the new bamboo walled garden
is a little more technical less willy nilly— serious
she has mapped out an intricate color-coded seed distribution model

studied the antagonists of beets and russian pickling cucumber
charted out the friendliest neighbors for dragon carrots and radish
and we make the map to scale with our hands and hearts in the dirt

she handles the climbers trellis-training them even as embryo
the snow peas the empress and sultan green crescent beans
and who knew that these tiny things could be so majestically named

what if we all knew our majesty at such an early stage
what if we all knew before rooting who we would flourish next to
and who would leave us broken— garden philosophy

I plunge my finger into the soil in precise but artistic regions
following of course the meticulous color mapping
and drop the little dreams of harvest into their respective holes

the prize bok choi and black beauty zucchini
the long cucumbers rainbow chard and celery
and I have never planted seeds like this in a garden like this

and I will just add this to the infinite list of moments of beauty
she creates and cultivates with me
and we smile at each other as we push these little hopes into the earth

as she finishes up I pick a hand full of bright red-bud blossoms
and cup them in my soil caked-hand the colors so profound
we share their succulence and sour literally tasting flowers

we water all that we have laid into the ground
hope for their breaking open and reaching for the sun
knowing this year we will not go hungry whatever may come

 

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