As winter approaches we sit and wait
ever so slowly our compost to make,
We glance into it time after time the underlayments of soil sublime
But little of change occurs deep within,
we reluctantly retire to wait in the den
As gardens are covered with blankets of white,
We sit in hours and hours of long winter night.
This is what we need to do while we wait for the Compost to bake. Give us some of your poems, favorite poems, or garden poems to keep us alive this long season.
Great renwings that is what we need to make the long nights by the fire. Yes I created that in my angst of approaching winter. Though I look forward to the nights onthe Chaise reading my self into the worlds of fiction.
Quoting:And in my hand a forest lies asleep.
How true is such a thought that what we hold is a potential forest.
Brigidlily, thank you for the honor
Sofer bows down to hands you his crown,
with joyous applause for the wonder cause,
by lightening our hearts with composting arts,
as we patiently await our winter abate,
sitting near the fire... with compost desire.
Buried in snow the compost below
sits and sleeps, we all think, but
Millions of bugs and uncounted slugs,
Feast and fill onthe carbonacous swill,
Certainly slow as we all know,
for all the degrees are down on their knees,
but the warmth contained in the blanketed remains,
patiently awaits all the garden greats,
that will apear as the summer draws near.
Thought I'd recycle on old 80's song by Windy Chopper (I mean Cyndi Lauper)! I know it doesn't count as poetry . . . but it's been going through my head and I just had to get it out.
Girls Just Want To Have Dung
The rooster crows in the morning light
My wifey says you're gonna end your life right
oh wifey dear, he's not the fortunate one
and girls they just want to have dung
oh girls just want to have dung
The rooster crows in the middle of the night,
My wifey yells that's the end of your life
(I better watch my snoring or I'll be the one)
and girls they just want to have dung
oh girls just want to have dung
that's all they really want
when the spoilt hay is done
girls -- they want to have dung
oh girls just want to have dung
Some boys take their beautiful leaves
and leave them onthe curb for trash in a heap
I want to be the one to take them from sun
and mix them with some chicken dung
oh girls they want to have dung
I forgot to shut the little door into the chicken house that the chickens use, last night. Afraid it got pretty chilly in there last night. Got down to 13 degrees here. Our coldest night so far. But they have more feathers than the funny one above. HaHa
One of my hens (they are large type banties) has deformed feet and I thought it was probably from frostbite a few years ago. I do have a heat lamp bulb hanging from the ceiling right over their roost post, which I will have to turn on soon. they aren't laying now, maybe they are too old, they were given to me 6 years ago, so they are old now.
The only way coyotes can get in my yard are through the gate way or crawl under the gate when it is closed. And this summer a mother coyote during our hot weather came into the yard and laid down in parking area about 50 feet out from the house. I went out and chased her out and saw a young one just outside the fence, chased it away too. And an hour or so later the mother was back laying again in the parking area. That is the only time I have ever seen one in the yard. Hear them yipping out back outside of the fence, see them down in the alfalfa field. If it weren't for the prevalence of coyotes I would like to have a kind of mini-dwarf goat or two .
I search and plan,
I read to understand
but nought I find
to ease my mind.
As the winter decent
Its temps present
a bud numbing cold
of the story to unfold.
This plant I so chose
with its buds or its toes
perish in the darkness of night
or in the spring take flight?
Soferdig, I don't know if you ever heard of Loren Eisley, but among the books he wrote, there is a poetry book called,"The Innocent Assassins". One of the poems is called "The Leaf Pile". It's too long to type here, and I don't think I could indent it properly onthe computer, not to mention the copyright infringement, but you would love it, I'm sure, if you haven't readit already. Lots of poems about prehistoric animals and natural history
Here is another of my favorites. I think of it every year when I put my borders to bed for the winter.
The gardener in his old brown hands
Turns over the brown earth,
As if he loves and understands The flowers before their birth, The fragile little childish strands
He buries in the earth.
Like pious children one by one
He sets them head by head,
And draws thethe clothes, when all is done,
Closely around each head,
And leaves the children to sleep on
In the one quiet bed.
soferdig: I just read your old thread, soil and composting: dung and doo doo. I read the whole thing. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Tomorrow I sharpen my shovel and clear off some space for some raised beds. Then its wheelbarrowing rabbit poop and shredded pine bark. I am inspired!
Inspiration is the purpose for living. Find it and hold on to it. Reward yourself with praise every minute you work the new beds. I tell myself that my plants are singing to me and soon they are. There is no better way to garden than to have your plants sing and smile while you are planning their future in a raised bed. Have joy Gloria 125!
Do you hear the sumac singing M. Butterfly?
Because you can die of overwork,
because you can die of the fire that melts rock,
because you can die of the poison
that kills the beetle and the slug,
we must come again to worship you on our knees, the common living dirt.
This isn't poetry (or then again maybe it is), it's Emily Dickinson's definition of poetry:
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold that no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?"
Alone in the chill from the ice covered glaze
I look through glass deep in a haze
I focus onthe dreams of my garden next year
Such thoughts allow the crystal debris to disappear
Tree, flower and bush bright color arrives
And warms the perception of my wintry eyes The sun blazes and burns bringing summer in kind
To my heart filled with hope and the garden in mind.
Sorry Woofie but such poetry does not flow from my pen because in the end I work my art from the garden of my heart.
You know...I tried to start a "Garden Poems" site a few years ago and not much really came of it. I am glad that this is going now. Maybe I will write a Poem to my dysfunctional composter. It will be more like venting...which my Composter bin needs badly!
I have written TWO Poems TO my Garden. The below is the first one. Did this in 2004.
It was a year when we still had snow onthe ground in March. It seemed Spring would never come! I was very impatient...
Make a wish for the sun to shine-
Let the days be yours and mine.
Flowers swaying in the breeze,
Birds all singing in the trees.
Snow to melt and grass to grow.
Tulip heads in my beds to show.
Geese on wings in the sky above
All living things-- so full of love.
The earth is stirring--my green grass grows
Daffodils blooming in pretty rows.
Robins hop, and sparrows nest--
Which fork in the tree will be the best?
I scan my garden and hope for the best,
That all will be well, before I rest.
Where soil is now--oh so bare!
My flowers will be fighting for a
place to share.
I worry and fret, I scan the scene,
Will it ever again soon be green?
Will roses bloom and lilacs sway
Their fragrance wafting over my way?
I have to remind me, day by day,
That nature always has her way.
Flowers grow--and seeds they sow,
And where they land...I do not know!
Here's a pansy--there's a mint!
Sunflowers!!!...I had no hint!
Here's a maple--there's a holly,
What's peeking out there?...
It's Lily of the Valley!
I sit and I savor--on my porch swing I rest,
Again to my Garden, I have given my best.
My eyes and my senses caress all I see,
And, again, it has given it's all to me!
I look at the earth-- I look at the sky,
I see another summer flying bye.
I fear not!--worry not!...for you see,
There will always be another spring for me.
Here's the one I wrote just last year. It has nothing to do with a compost pile, BUT--a garden would be NOTHING without the rich earth we work so hard to provide.
I really love this Poem! I sometimes cannot believe that I wrote it. It is NOT a rhyming Poem--so read it in a "prose" fashion...
The Garden WakesÖ..
(Gita Veskimets-- April, 2007)
The Garden wakes--
It's breast heaves slowly.
With all its dormant strength
it takes a breath
and blows away the remnants of Winter.
And it feels renewed.
The Garden wakes--
It sighs at all yet to be done
and hopes of glorious things to come.
It drinks in the dew in the morning
and the rain of the night.
And its thirst is quenched.
The Garden wakes--
It wipes the sleep from its eyes
and is blinded
by all the glory and the color
that laid beneath the earth so long.
And it revels in things well done.
The Garden gives--
unselfishly--of all the bounty it has cradled
in it's loving arms;
And at days end
It rolls itself up in the green, green grass
And it rests.
The Garden sighs-- the burden now heavy on it's chest.
It gasps for cool air
and thirsts for refreshing rains and soothing nights
that now come so seldom--
and it tires of the effort.
The Garden struts--
Itís wondrous wardrobe of the Fall,
lovingly embroidered with the colors of the setting Sun.
and feels that it was a job well done.
And before the golden yarns unravel from its cape,
It lays its head onthe soft, fallen leavesó
Wow! How wonderful these all are. I just went back and read all. How lovely.
Here's one I wrote last year:
The Cabbages and I
I go down to the greenhouse,
deep in the green
who hand-care you round heads
who make no audible sound
yet pound through my blood
in verdant demand
and drum into dreams your folded tongues.
I go bound to your sermon
to behold your bold union, your blind yield;
as they are scribed on my soul, that base euphony,
that concord of earth we share
and that obscure longing.
Yes they do "pound through our blood in verdant demand" A true poet has given us purpose to bow down. Compostr do you write often?
Loved the vegetable ensemble. Too bad the carrot flute got slurred. It started well.
Love your Poem! WHY? Because you are really, really good with metaphors! You have a way with words...and it is up to the reader to decipher just WHAT you meant.
What is "euphony"? Now--"phony" has to do with sound...so, what is the "eu"???
I enjoyed the You Tube link as well. Will sent that to some of my Vegetarian friends...
"The progression of thepile"
Crisp and crackly the debris begins
Layered green grass the mold is in
Autumn rains bring onthe ooze
All bacteria and bugs will choose
This brings up those worms to chew Onthe carbonaceous leafy goo.
Needing to tunnel to have a good ... Tunneling experience.
My problem is that this "black, plastic thing" I use as a composter is NOT open to the elements, except for venting holes all around. I tell you--it is almost useless!
It is the one called the "Earth machine" and sold from truck-loads once a year somewhere on a mall parking lot.
It has a top part and a hbottom part that "snap" (yeah, right!) together and has this little drawer at the bottom that, as if by magic, will just spill out your rich, composted humoussy soil. DOUBLE HA!!!!!!
For one--it is impossible to turn anything over in this thing. If you could separate the top and bottom, then there might be a chance, but if this composter is full--NO GO! I tried once to move the contents around with a pitch fork, but--needing to use the side of the container for leverage--promptly cracked it.
The other issue is getting the "good stuff" out the bottom. This little, lift up drawer is about a foot square and at ground level. Last time I tried to get some stuff out, I was fishing around down there forever with my digging fork and got just a bit out. It is dark and compacted "down there".
The year before, I simply emptied out the whole container to get to the "good stuff" at the bottom half. This meant separating everything I dug out in 2 different containers. One was my wheelbarrow the other was a big piece of plastic onthe ground. The un-composted things went onthe plastic and got put back into the Earth machine... The "good stuff" got spread all over where I needed it, and then, for a month afterwards, I had to keep pulling up all the sprouting melon seeds and tomato seeds. I eat a lot of both.
I don't think anything heats up as hot as needed to kill anything in here. It is not the biggest thing and, not being able to aerate the contents, it just takes about 2 years for anything to compost.
DON'T BUY THIS IF YOU WANT COMPOST IN A HURRY!!!!!
I don't know if I have a picture of this, but you can Google "The Earth Machine" and see what it looks like...
I'll go look! Hang in there! OK! This took about 20 minutes and the best i could come up with is this picture. See that "black thing" in the distance? Just under the curve of the branch of my Birch Tree? That is the "glorious" Earth Machine"!!!!! ...barf!
By the way, the shrub you see in the forefront is the "Wintersweet Shrub" (Chimanthus praecox). Kind of rare! It is "blooming" right now. Quite fragrant! I have seeds for it, but you would have to commit to about 7 years of it growing before it "might" bloom.
The problem with all composters is the stuff that makes it compost is not in there. You have to have contact with the soil for worms, pill bugs, bacteria, and fungus. Even here in the spring through summer I compost about 3 to 6 cu yards of compost in less than 2 to 3 months. I do shred though. You can help it a bit with a couple hand fulls of soil and worms.
Oh, I have worms--and I have tons of Pillbugs--fat ones--in there all year long! The larva of those are so ravenous! I look in there and they are devouring all my melon rinds, my tomato scraps, and any other fruit refuse. And, the year I dug out the whole composter, you should have seen the worms in there!!!! So, I have all that.
I do not throw a lot of twigs, leaves or grass in there--some, but not a lot. It just does not have the volume to deaal with all that! I do throw clippings of cut back plants in there and in the Fall, all the ones I pull up--which have soil onthe roots. Also--every now and then, I throw a handful of Kelp Meal, or lawn fertilizer or dried manure in there for the NItrogen. As you can see- I AM doing all the right things...except being able to turn the contents over as needed.
I find it amazing, though, that I can keep throwing veggie refuse stuff, garden stuff, some dried grass clippings, leaves etc. in there for TWO years and the thing never gets overfilled! Something must be working on it!!!!
Yup! Them slimy critters are devouring all this stuff in there all right!
I still don't like the one I have! But--I live in a development, and NO ONE has compost piles/bins around here except me!
I wish I could just have a compost pile made of 4 pallets on each side--or one with cinder blocks all around--but I just don't have room. No where to hide it or camouflage it!
That is why I fell for the advertising "soft-sell" of this stupid thing!
Mine's pallets which have been slightly rearranged to handle more "in coming", but since I live in an areas that's single family houses and I really don't care what the neighbors think. I got highly amused because the young fella next door has been over 3 times and the last time brought DH a huge tarp for thepile. Asked all kinds of questions and is very interested in what we're doing. Wait till he sees the garden. They weren't here for the last big one...LOL
This is not strictly a gardening poem and it has nothing to do at all with composting, but I've always thought it was a great love poem that I think most gardeners can appreciate:
by Marvin Bell
You are not beautiful, exactly.
You are beautiful, inexactly.
You let a weed grow by the mulberry
And a mulberry grow by the house.
So close, in the personal quiet
Of a windy night, it brushes the wall
And sweeps away the day till we sleep.
A child said it, and it seemed true:
"Things that are lost are all equal."
But it isn't true. If I lost you, The air wouldn't move, nor the tree grow.
Someone would pull the weed, my flower. The quiet wouldn't be yours. If I lost you,
I'd have to ask the grass to let me sleep.
OK! Now that we have closed the gap between february and end of June--how about some more people jumping in and "contributing" to this literary collection? Hay! maybe we should publish a DG booklet called: "PoetryonthePile"...It would be a hoot!!!
Anyone want to get this going????? I am not that "brave"...
I know I like poo
and all that good stuff;
Just don't want to do--
What seems a bit tough!
I'm glad you liked the poem. I wish I could take credit for it, but it was the great contemporary American poet, Marvin Bell, who wrote the poem for his wife, Dorothy.
It has always seemed to me that some of our greatest poets have had intimate relationships with the things growing around them . . . I guess nothing inspires us quite like the act of creation whether it be a heaping pile of compost we tend to, letting the weed grow by the mulberry, or the crafting of a few lines of poetry. Anyway, I was happy to stumble upon this thread because I've always thought of gardening and poetry as two very similar passions that go well together--like companion planting.
This thread needs a fresh pile of compost
coffee grinds eggshells and old toast. The last poet was correct about
armchair gardens and rototilling keyboards
when we really should be out planting october's gourds.
But without the fertile mind to till imaginations soil
Life in the yard would be noting but toil.
These are the things I must confess:
That I must wait, and disguise what I obsess.
I cannot, in broad daylight,
walk to thepile (that holy plight)
and discard with unabashed delight--
lest my neighbors see and complain: ďOh the smell! Oh the blight!Ē
It is not their fault, they just donít know,
what it is to turn new earth with a worn-in ho.
Around my cornered world I will spread this filth:
all around my little plot, my blessed land of tilth!
And when Iím caught, Iíll plead my guilt as true:
Yes I do, yes, I revel in this loamy stew.
Then the jury must devise its punishments,
but while they ponder, my pile still ferments.
I freely admit what Iíve done--let them take me away.
Only, let me do hard labor, let me dig the earth all day.
It's a small world, isnt it? Thats how it happened when I first heard of Billy Collins; someone read one of his poems to me aloud and in two or three days I saw where he had been made PL. I have several of his books.
If you all do not know--I have been away for 3 weeks now to my beloved Land of birth--Latvia. We have enjoyed the most hospitable people on Earth--our cousins and their families who have put is up, entertained us, fed us and driven hundreds of miles to show us the beautiful country this is. We came here to visit and also to attend the HUGE, every-five-years Song and Folk Dance Festival.
Please go to the Mid Atlantic Forum and to the ''Greetings from Latvia'' Post to read some of my commentary. I will also be posting my pictures there once I upload about 300 pictures.
So--here is my ''Farewell Poem'' to our visit:
The morning is slow,
But it is time to go;
To leave this lovely Land
With beaches of pure, white sand.
We have walked miles and miles
And seen nothing but smiles
All the food here is great
But--sadly it is getting late...
Tomorrow we must fly away
All our good-byes we must say;
To all our ''family'' near and far
To us they were like a shiny star!
Tomorrow, over the Ocean we fly
Happy and sad--but we all will try;
All good memories along the way,
Hoping to come back another day...
Gita that reminds me of a poem I wrote to my wife several years ago before I left to go to England for a week. I had it printed in the local newspaper the day I returned which just happened to be Valentine's Day.
Over the ocean
In the land of the pubs
I've been the last week
Without you my love
But today I return
No longer away
To kisses and hugs On Valentines Day
Today I depart sleepily to the workplace
At first to just repeat the motions of yesterday
But soon the opportunity to brighten a soul
Lifts me and I find energy to the job
Another one finds hope, yet another release
I further rise and move in the moment without effort
Our energy from Starbuck's cup is nothing to the joy of others
To make us complete and filled with purpose
Yes another day to change the world around.