Poetry on the pile 09.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

The sun moved me today to look out through the glass
I held a moment of memory where flowers once stood
It lifted me to a extended time to plan and hope
As I wait the period of longer days to emerge ... and become
Yellows filled my mind, backed by blue, highlighted by green.
I then hoped and ached for time to move the equinox awaiting
My planet has swung in its elipse to move closer ....the north
The orb of heaven warming first its feet it's knees and then crown.
As this temp climbs, every day is brighter and longer
I so enjoy this change especially now as I wallow and slumber.

Newcastle, ON(Zone 5a)

Beauitful poem..
thank you..it painted a picture in my mind as I read it.


Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Thank you for the encouragment. What is your poem. Your own or someones else's. I want to hear poetry.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him -- at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; -- and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man -- one man -- can't keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It's thus he does it of a winter night.
Robert Frost

This message was edited Jan 20, 2009 10:30 PM

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Oh wow, that is nice. You could tell me Robert Frost wrote it and I would believe you..... that's high praise. Did he? Or did you?

Here's one I wrote, and to keep it remotely topical, compost it as you will, LOL!

I Offer This Pollen

I want to wake up in the morning
speaking in a different language,
a language of words that are
not like these words but are
words who carry a sweetness
like seeds, words who have been
held silent in the Mouth of Night
until they are new enough to
hold together in the morning.

And let the things of concern
not be clutched so tightly but
let them float loose, and
float loose away, the things
of worry, and busyness, and
clocks, let them float loose
away entirely.

And let these new words that
are born of the Mouth of
Night, let them show themselves
shyly, so only a sideways
glance notices that they are
words that have whole rooms
inside, rooms and rooms where
the light glints in dazzling facets
as though the softness of the
fur of bees is in them, and
the way green boughs hang
over a slow sunlit river, that
is in them, and the sudden way
a flower releases its scent in
the night, that too is in them,
and more also, the way the
wind currents feel the
caress of wing feathers
flying, the secret desire of
all water to drink
the moonlight, all the doorways
hidden underneath
an ordinary stone
opening out forever, all
in these words.

And so then let them fly forth gently
and quietly, almost the way
a dandelion's seeds fly forth
only in vast numbers and with
such far-flyingness, let them
fly forth and go forth and go,
until they cover entirely this
poor tired sore world, until they cover
it like a blanket
of the lightest touch, almost
unnoticed, but let each one
light down where it will take
hold, let each one be a seed of
the unimagined, let each one
open out unsuspected, as though
the earth loves our feet, as
though the stars watch over us
tenderly forever, as though we
really do belong here, as though
all will be well now.

Kyla Houbolt
November 2004

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Wow. To experience the levity of the verse and the inpact of its event is awesome. "the furr of the bee" wow! Each delicate observation has never been seen on a day of labor. What an insight to the world you have. Thank you.

Thumbnail by Soferdig
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Thank YOU! And thank you for the beautiful photo, just lovely.. what is that flower? I do seem to recognize it....

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Its a red hot poker. Kniphofia uvaria.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)


Here's another poem -- and it would be nice to see more from you as well.....

Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

159. This Compost


SOMETHING startles me where I thought I was safest;
I withdraw from the still woods I loved;
I will not go now on the pastures to walk;
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my lover the sea;
I will not touch my flesh to the earth, as to other flesh, to renew me. 5

O how can it be that the ground does not sicken?
How can you be alive, you growths of spring?
How can you furnish health, you blood of herbs, roots, orchards, grain?
Are they not continually putting distemper’d corpses within you?
Is not every continent work’d over and over with sour dead? 10

Where have you disposed of their carcasses?
Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations;
Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and meat?
I do not see any of it upon you to-day—or perhaps I am deceiv’d;
I will run a furrow with my plough—I will press my spade through the sod, and turn it up underneath; 15
I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.


Behold this compost! behold it well!
Perhaps every mite has once form’d part of a sick person—Yet behold!
The grass of spring covers the prairies,
The bean bursts noislessly through the mould in the garden, 20
The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches,
The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its graves,
The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,
The he-birds carol mornings and evenings, while the she-birds sit on their nests, 25
The young of poultry break through the hatch’d eggs,
The new-born of animals appear—the calf is dropt from the cow, the colt from the mare,
Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato’s dark green leaves,
Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk—the lilacs bloom in the door-yards;
The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata of sour dead. 30

What chemistry!
That the winds are really not infectious,
That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea, which is so amorous after me,
That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with its tongues,
That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have deposited themselves in it, 35
That all is clean forever and forever.
That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,
That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,
That the fruits of the apple-orchard, and of the orange-orchard—that melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will none of them poison me,
That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease, 40
Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what was once a catching disease.


Now I am terrified at the Earth! it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses,
It distils such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor, 45
It renews with such unwitting looks, its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

It occurs to me that I should explain the stray numerals in the previous post.

You know how, from the compost pile, sometimes, there are seeds that sprout? Tomato seeds are famous for this. I have a vine in my kitchen window that I think is some kind of green bean the neighbors grew, that volunteered in some compost that was in a container in which the original plant died -- but the bean vine is doing nicely. I enjoy the way its tendrils twine into the venetian blinds.

Here, with the numerals, we have a similar function. Whitman's prose is so rich in biological action, it is actually germinating numerals.

If we wait long enough, we are likely to observe the development of mature differential equations and trigonometric functions.

As long as someone remembers to water the pile.


Hahira, GA(Zone 8b)

soferdig - Are you certain that's Kniphofia - it looks more like Foxtail lily. Gorgeous, though, whichever it is! Fabulous poetry & prose, also! Samantha

Kirkland, WA(Zone 7b)

Sof - Eremurus?

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

You guys have to know that we buy and plant what is on a lable. I never care or know what I plant. It was a Knophia when I planted it. I shall look for another name. another view

Thumbnail by Soferdig
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh, my!!!!!

How did I miss this Post going to a new #?????

Now I will have to go back and read all I have missed!!!!!

I remember taking part in the first Post on this--then I guess it just slipped by---for 8 more Parts! Lots to read and catch up on!

I have nothing new to contribute......My "I'm a Poet and Don't Know it" times come far and few between.

Kyla--LOVED your prose! Such deep thoughts! You are a Poet--and you better know it!


Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

I don't think it was linked; I never knew there were older versions but of course there would have been.

Appropriately enough it is Bobby Burns' birthday today.

In honor of which, and in honor of compost itself, I might offer this:


I never can know what I would do
if I were you, except it would be
what you do.

The smoke goes away into air.

A poet writes for the future,
(she may write for her friends
she may write for herself
she may write for publication
the mark of success for a poet is
to be
widely read after her death.
to be widely read after death.

So each of these small messages
is a hopeful time capsule like a sperm
which is almost sure of not making it
but which may.

The smoke goes away into air .
Each breath you breathe
comes from everywhere.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

For you all----This was the beginning of the "Poetry on the Pile" Post. Part #1.

A lot of cute--deep--thoughtful--frivolous Poems to do with the garden and composting.

Then--it went to a very short--Part #2.

Now we are at the part labeled--"Poetry on the Pile 2009".
Somehow--the past did not get linked to the present.....

Hope you go back and read all the Poems "over the times".....


Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Moments today opened with the glorious sun
I existed here in a clear Alaskan beach that glittered
the aerial designs of waterborne birds written in
the azure air and on the umber gloss of water.
Each imprint of their glorious motion of flight
A spectacle of graceful gliding over unending waves
only to finish with a brush of linear shadow
as they sign the canvas with their landing stroke.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

I can see it. Lovely.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Imagining the rose I trudge
out in snow to dig in scraps.
Imagining the rose I scrape away snow, mud, rootmats.
Digging in, imagining the rose,
I strike stones or a clutch of terrible ancient eggs or giant seed bones
buried there, they
imagining something else, or nothing at all.
And still I am
imagining the rose, persevering
the way it will, along here, thorn and horn-tough twining
mean enough, sure, to keep imagining
scent, summer, and what petals
feel like, no matter what
was here before it.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

the hopeful ascent of the next rose. to dream of a place to become.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Here's a poem I started working on yesterday.

Egg Shells

Without the leaves in the branches
I can hear the evening traffic.
It sounds closer than it should be, and
more urban than I want.
But there is also a quietness here, and the dark is just purple still.
I wanted to come out here
to trust the soles of my shoes on the curve
of the slate stones I set in the grass
when it was summer.
I wanted to carry my pail of broken egg shells
and the proof of every morning’s coffee
to the compost pile where at least something
casts off heat. I wanted it to be so hot I could
stand by it with my palms out, feeling warm finally
like those silent men beneath the freeways with their
barrel fires. The pile coughs steam when
I stir it, but my hope for a real, tangible heat is unfounded.
What I really wanted from this,
I think,
was just to remember things brighter
and to remind myself that what is fought for,
and not just waited for, matters more when it is won.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

thank you. very nice -- and I share the feeling! ;-)

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

ah I too feel the warmth on my hands.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Where you see the flower
Earth blooms today.

Where you see the flower
Earth is blooming
yesterday and tomorrow.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I had a nice poem but lost it in send. I'll try to remember it.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Ah, too bad. But, there will be another........

Kirkland, WA(Zone 7b)

Steve - I've been waiting for you to remember all day...

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I have it on my cell phone that has not internet access where I am and will try to post it as soon as I can to let you know the compost winter poem. Steve

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I lost it sorry.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I read today that this is one of the top eleven (about second or third place) most frequently included in major anthologies
And it's timely

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

One of my favorites of Frost. This one is what I read when life is tough.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Rudyard Kipling.
This message was edited Feb 5, 2009 10:05 AM

This message was edited Feb 5, 2009 9:06 PM

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Hey, Sofer! I have to laugh cause when I was in high school I used to recite that one as a kind of affirmation, thinking it might help me get strong in life...... I had some kinda strange ideas then..... (well, still do, come to that) But anyways, that poem, "If" is actually by Rudyard Kipling I believe.

Not that either Frost or Kipling would probably care by now........

I am sorry you lost your latest poem in your cell phone, tho.....

Kirkland, WA(Zone 7b)

I know that poem is rockin' around in your brain...

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Katye, do you have one???

Kirkland, WA(Zone 7b)

You're kidding, aren't you?

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Absolutely not! My dad was a music and voice teacher and a composer. He always maintained that anyone could learn to sing and sing beautifully and well given the proper instruction.

Along those same lines I believe poetry is the singing of our spoken language. And can be learned. Saying words that sing to you and finding their rhythm in relation to other words......

Someone in another forum posted this:

"I had taken in the virtues of clover" and I thought, "what a great first line for a poem." So it goes........

But I also acknowledge many years of getting totally over any shyness about sharing my words, and remember I did used to feel that, so ----- only if it is fun. But if it is at all fun, please do give it a try! ;-)


Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

hahaha Here's a poem about feeling bad about writing bad poetry:


It does not make me happy to have written this.

Gleaming like a polished grape

each oval skinless word performs its talentless audition.

Mirthless geometry has burst the thought balloon of discards.

You, having attended thus far,

are forced to know this. There are

no good parts.

Sorry to have bothered you.

Let 's just forget it.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

MY problem is that i think--in poetry--everything should rhyme.......maybe a childish way to think....
Of course--my "The Garden Wakes" poem blew all that to bits! It is in part #1 of this Post.
If you have not done so--PLEASE read it!!!! No modesty here......

My contribution for tonight....VERY shallow......

To make things rhyme
Takes too much time;
To write in Prose
Is like snubing one's nose.

To say how I feel,
Is no big deal;
But to write from the heart
Is true literary art.....

My thoughts come and go
And I really don't know;
Where they will head..
And then--
I need to go to bed.......:o)

Love writing "ditties".......


Kirkland, WA(Zone 7b)

I enjoy bugging Sofer when he's traveling, so it was time to stir things up...

I write frequently, but with poetry I have to be in the mood.
February is a tough month to be in the mood for anything but heat.
Compost piles are cool right now...need manure, LOL

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

This is one for you Kayte.
good stuff my poetic friends. I shall make a new one with the same Ideas.

By looking and assuming a frozen pile
Is nothing but inert motion of icy soil
Frost and I both wrongly mistake
"The only other sound's the sweep of easy wind and downy flakes"
With error we never heard the sounds
In the debris that each forest mounds
Underneath layers of the winter frost
Lays music that is unknown and lost
Voices of the creatures deep below
Are unheard action we should all know
A worm's song of joy and pride
They tunnel close to their youths side
Bugles announce bugs as they prepare their claim
Are met with dances of centipedes by no way plain
Bacteria and fungi still musically create
Their replication at a much slower rate
This rhythm to convert the debris of last years beat
Into a symphony of beauty of this years garden treat.

This message was edited Feb 5, 2009 11:10 PM

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