Poetry on the Pile

Eureka, CA

What a collection!

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

OK so we continue:

Alone in the chill from the ice covered glaze
I look through glass deep in a haze
I focus on the 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.

Chewelah, WA(Zone 5a)

Sofer, I have no idea what you are apologizing FOR.

Newcastle, ON(Zone 5a)

Mr. Soferdickenson.. :)


Greensboro, AL

I love this thread. It is always an inspiration to look for something else could go in that pile!

Soferdickenson! Poet laureate of the compost pile.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

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 on the 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.


Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

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 Wakes…..
(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--
It’s 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 on the soft, fallen leaves—

The Garden sleeps.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

You are too good to be here. Those are great! Well done Gitagal. Keep them coming. Garden wakes, gives, sighs, struts and sleeps. Oh yes.

Greensboro, AL

I am not a poet, but I love coming to this thread to see all the creative thinking. Thanks Gitagal. Thanks Soferdig.

Chewelah, WA(Zone 5a)

Gitagal, that poem is lovely. Thank you.

south central, PA(Zone 6b)

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
am I,
who hand-care you round heads
of leaves
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.

But, uh, as to "no audible sound" I don't know. I posted this before but only 3 people checked it out - you have to hear this, it's the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpfYt7vRHuY

This message was edited Feb 15, 2008 4:30 PM

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

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.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


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....


Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Gita I saw it as a percussion of feelings beating on his/her heart = Euphony.....?

south central, PA(Zone 6b)

aw, shucks - thanks. I have written all my life, but only occasionally, when inspired.

"base euphony" - I meant the shared basic biological/evolutional fact of being alive. euphony just means a nice sound.

the vegetable orchestra is supposed to be touring the US this summer, but I haven't been able to find any more info. If anybody does, please alert!

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Excellent reading, y'all. I don't write poetry, but I like yours. :)

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Awww! Come on! I know you can write a small bit of poetry!

Just do a 4 line "ditty" here. It's not hard.

Here, I'll do one!

I own this black, plastic "thing"
That promised much compost to seep
But try as I may, and to my dismay
The good stuff's just buried too deep!


Now it is YOUR turn!

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Cow poo added to leaves
Black Gold!


south central, PA(Zone 6b)

I love these funny ones!

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

"The progression of the pile"
Crisp and crackly the debris begins
Layered green grass the mold is in
Autumn rains bring on the ooze
All bacteria and bugs will choose
This brings up those worms to chew
On the carbonaceous leafy goo.
Needing to tunnel to have a good ... Tunneling experience.


Greensboro, AL


Calvert City, KY(Zone 7a)

Shades of Emily, for sure, Sofer!!

More, more, more!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

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 on the ground. The un-composted things went on the 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.


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.

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

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.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


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 on the 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!


Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Well you have worm castings. Feel lucky then. Well done because there are about 50 threads on failure of composting bins.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

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!

UGH! Gita

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

My compost pile is the center of my garden and I think it is quite attractive. Made it out of deck railing I took down to build my sun room. Ignore the bags. Just storing the stuff I bought that day.

Thumbnail by Soferdig
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh, the wormy, squirmy things I see
They chew all day--all night excrete,
When I peek in my compost bin!
I know that they're all living in sin!!!!

Greasy, gray things squirm around,
Eat everything that can be found--
But in return, one sunny day
To them I'll gladly pay and pay...

On my beds the "poo" I'll spread
Plant my flowers and never dread.
That my poor Garden soil will know...
And my flowers will just grow and grow!

Another "ditty" for you all! Appropriately, created on the spot!


Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

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 the pile. 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

south central, PA(Zone 6b)

Beauty sofer!

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

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:

To Dorothy
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.

Greensboro, AL


Beautiful. I hope this pile gets going again!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh, Gardensox!
You are such a romantic! Thanks for bumping this thread up--I had forgotten all about it....

Your Poem is beautiful! I can tell you really, really love Dorothy!


Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

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: "Poetry on the Pile"....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!


Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)


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.


Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Sorry it's been quite a few years since I wrote any poems so please forgive me for the satire!

All those great lovers of soil
With much passion and joy do they toil
When they should be outside a yardin'
They're all inside on Davesgarden
Finding a few moments to spoil.


Berkeley, CA(Zone 10a)

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.

I tried!

Greensboro, AL

Annie. great thoughts! Especially the part about getting gardens ready for fall production. Best time here in Alabama.

Cumberland Mtns, TN(Zone 6b)

oh....I liked till imaginations soil.

thats what we all do, after all.

Bravo..... (clapping) keep going. We'll cheer you on.

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