Poetry on the Pile

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

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.

Sultan, WA(Zone 8a)

Did you write that? I think it captures the anxiety I get every winter. Soon soon soon!
I have so many favorite garden poems.

The Seed Shop
Muriel Stewart

Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifted sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shriveled, scentless, dry--
Meadows and gardens running threw my hand.

In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams;
A ceder in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century's streams;
These lillies shall make summer on my dust.

Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells, a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.

My favorite haiku for note cards:

What a delight it is
When, of a morning,
I get up and go out
To find in full bloom a flower
That yesterday was not there.
-Tachibana Akemi

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

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 on the Chaise reading my self into the worlds of fiction.

And in my hand a forest lies asleep.
How true is such a thought that what we hold is a potential forest.

This message was edited Oct 25, 2006 9:41 PM

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

In the dark of the moon, in flying snow, in the dead of winter,
war spreading, families dying, the world in danger,
I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.

"February 2, 1968" --Wendell Berry

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I'm now in my office so dark and drear,
I really wish the summer were here,
So I could see if the seeds I will sow,
Will sprout and blossom and allow me to crow,

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

sometimes you need to just have hope and act that all is better. Its the little things we do to keep our sanity. Kind of dark but we have all been there. Thanks kmom.
Yes arrrrrrrhhhhhh!!! My seeds!

This message was edited Oct 26, 2006 6:13 PM

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

There once was a gardener named sofer
who was driven to war with a gopher
when he finally won
he knew what must be done
just take her out back and compost her

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

( Applause ) .. brigidlily!! A mitey dandy one!!

* 'Howdy' Soferdig *

- Magpye

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

why... thank you kindly...

Sultan, WA(Zone 8a)

That's clever!

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

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.

This message was edited Oct 28, 2006 1:28 PM

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

There once was a girl from Nantucket :)
who put kitchen scraps in a bucket.
Every weekend or so
to the compost she'd go
And into the bin she would chuck it!


Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Was the girl from nantucket bulemic? ..............................Oh now I see. Good one winging!

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

I enjoyed all your poems. I am not good with poetry so nothing to add, will just enjoy what the rest of you post.


Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Buried in snow the compost below
sits and sleeps, we all think, but
Millions of bugs and uncounted slugs,
Feast and fill on the 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.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Dreamy quality to something so real! Very nice! Forgive me for limiting myself to limericks for the moment, but --

there was a young gardener named Ruth
whose plants were her poems in truth
but when she was asked
said she loved the task --
without juniper, there's no vermouth!

(yes, I know juniper makes gin, not vermouth -- but I have a poetic license)

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

there once was a gardener named winging
whose plants were composted by singing
for warbling on
from dusk until dawn
winging's singing had neighbor's mud-flinging

edited to say -- NO OFFENSE! you're probably a great singer!

This message was edited Oct 30, 2006 9:50 AM

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Good ones, I like limericks I just can't see them in prose. Keep em coming.

Acton, TN(Zone 7a)

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
some dung
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 on the 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

that all the really want
some dung

Thumbnail by jozeeben
Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

None of the girls I know want to have dung. Man you had to look a long time to find that chicken.

Acton, TN(Zone 7a)

Soferdig - You just haven't found the right girl! Mulch, spoiled hay, horse manure, cow pies make my girl happy. Don't matter what the chicken looks like as long as the output is good! LOL

Thumbnail by jozeeben
Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

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


Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Have you ever had any chickens freeze off their feet Donna? I had a couple who did when I raised them in Michigan. they couldn't roost but it didn't seem to bother them much.

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

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.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Yeah pullets are very productive and about 5 years old they are done. Time to get some new girls for eggs let the others work the garden area. Coyotes will have fun with them.

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

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 .

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)


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?

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

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 on the 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

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Sounds like a must read. Thank you claypa.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I'm really enjoying this thread. Love the newest one, soferdig. And all of them. Girls just wanna have dung...that's great!

Soferdig said: "Was the girl from nantucket bulemic? ..............................Oh now I see. Good one winging!"
>>>>LOL, it's chuck not *upchuck*! :)

And brigidlily: I loved the limerick about winging's singing. Gave me pause for a moment. Hmmm, is she one of my neighbors?? Ack! ;) Excellent.

What a talented and clever group of folks.


Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Summer Soft
by Judy DePauw

Past Midnight, lost in reverie
her slender, white-draped form
haunts my flower bed:
smelling of balm and berry;
plenteous with pink anemone.

Miss Emily

Movement along my garden path:
footfalls follow consummate care
one cobblestone to the next.
Sleepy, moon blue pasqueflowers:
their essence - with her - commingle.

Resurrection Lily

Black-green vines intertwine,
even as their purple souls,
in nighttime, nod her toward
the unrivaled aroma of my red rose.
"Oh, the Sensuous aroma of my red rose!"

I wonder, this moment,
if the pungent scent of earth
touches her - as you now touch me...

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Christina Rosetti wrote:

In the bleak midwinter
frosty wind made moan
earth was hard as iron
water like a stone
snow was falling
snow on snow
snow on snow
in the bleak midwinter
long ago

Now, if that doesn't make you want to curl up with a cup of cocoa and a pile of catalogs, with a dog sleeping at your feet, nothing will.

Edited to say, I'll be out of town for a week, but if I come up with any more limericks I'll share when I get back. Happy gardening while I'm gone, everyone!

This message was edited Nov 3, 2006 10:13 AM

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

After the snow fell...........

Oh well why write.

This message was edited Nov 3, 2006 9:05 PM

Sultan, WA(Zone 8a)

Here is another of my favorites. I think of it every year when I put my borders to bed for the winter.

The Gardener
-Arthur Symons

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 the the clothes, when all is done,
Closely around each head,
And leaves the children to sleep on
In the one quiet bed.

Greensboro, AL

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!

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

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?

Thumbnail by Soferdig
Springboro, PA(Zone 5a)

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.

---Marge Piercy


This message was edited Nov 25, 2006 7:21 PM

Thumbnail by Early_Bloomer
Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

You probably all know the Kipling poem:

Oh, Adam was a gardener
And the God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work
Is done upon his knees.

Newcastle, ON(Zone 5a)

I enjoyed reading this old thread..thanks
I have had this poem saved for a long time on my computer...seems fitting here..

To know someone here or there with whom you can
feel there is understanding in spite of distances or
thoughts expressed -- That can make life a garden.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Thumbnail by Starzz
Chewelah, WA(Zone 5a)

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?"

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