Garden Poems

Miracles Happen

Miracles happen every day
in the garden,
as the sun shines in early morning,
and dew percolates the surface of things.
Iris sparkles blue
and glows its yellow heart.
Japanese maples thrust leaves from sheaths,
Rose shoots take off in new directions
from spiny winter branches,
and poppies spread wheels of leaves
gathering strength from long tap roots
for splendor in May.
Tiny red buds open on trees
still hung with dark dried pods,
and flowering pears burst in foam,
white petals drifting in cool air

Oh yes,
miracles happen all the time
in your garden
when you shine.

If I were a Garden


  Night Rain

Soft persistence of sound
barely heard.
Barely awake, I listen
and see the drops fall,
glisten on dark earth,
penetrate gently
and find the seeds I have planted.
Dormant and waiting.
they swell with new life.

Healing garden

Your healing garden takes stock
of what you need.
We chose large pink blossoms
for fragrance;
and for sweetness, we have red strawberries.
Ageratum, those low growing blues
to remind us of sadness,
which comes to us, sometimes,
so we'll put them
near the snapdragons,
rocketing to the sky in brilliant crimson
like your dreams,
powered by the sun
in those yellow pansies,
that can grow even in shade for a time
if they must.
And that single, glorious, tall pink poppy
for the center.
We bought young plants to start small,
and surprise us with unknown, radiant colors
that will bloom from the warmth
of your inner sun.
Remember-it's never too soon
or too late
for planting.

  Make time for the garden

You have to make time
in your garden,
not only for working
but just to see.
Not only for planting or harvesting
or weeding,
but to smell the freesias,
to look at the new rose leaves
admire the new growth thrusting out
in strong red leaves,
to see the white columbine
blooming behind the flowering quince,
the lavender ageratum at the base of the snapdragons,
the grape leaves bursting from the seams
of last year's vines,
pink tulips about to open inside green sheathes,
and most amazing of all
the purple orchid sprays in that pot
you thought was dead and dry.
You have to walk through the garden
and say hello to each newly leafing tree,
caress the buds,
and try to see it whole,
your garden,
or as much as you can-
how different greens complement each other,
set off the yellows and flame into reds,
how daffodils and star magnolias
turn dried brown leaves
into background for their spring painting.
So don't go into you garden
looking for weeds,
which will only make you bend down
and miss the point.


Spring air kisses you awake,
still cool with last night's rain,
crisp like toast--
Maple leaves for breakfast!


Poppy Magic

Tiny black magic seeds
thrown upon the wind.
Seed leaves sprout like grass, nearly invisible,
with barest hint
of new life on wet ground. The first true leaves
appear with delicate curves.
Given enough space,
young plants grow a wheel
of leaves like soft spokes
on cold spring earth.
A dozen leaves later,
a sun warmed bud rises,
curling on a tall stalk,
tiny hairs shivering in sunlight.
The bud splits.
like a flamenco dancer's skirt;
red petals peek out,
a fold at a time,
till halved,
the bud shell falls away,
and petals whirl into position,
two sets opposed,
black on red,
around the cross at the heart of things.
Colors swirl,
pink with white edge
or white edged with pink,
red stripes, pinks and oranges,
not only four
but eight petals, or sixteen,
or peony-like, with countless layers.

Petals fall, shrivel,
still the green pod stands tall,
turns brown, opens tiny holes
shakes seeds into my hand,
which shelters
of tiny black magic seeds.

You have to wear gloves

You have to wear gloves
when you dig in the garden
because you never know what
your hand might touch.
You may encounter thorns
from old rose branches,
shards of glass,
broken tools with sharp edges,
or god knows what pieces of
forgotten mines
that might even blow up
under there, hidden in tunnels
and caverns,
so be careful when
you disturb the surface
and go below.

But you have to spade deep
to make a garden grow,
to loosen earth
packed down and hardened,
cracked and dry from days of sun.
Only then can water penetrate
and find the roots of plants
that you stir in fertile soil.


Poppy flowering

When the bud is ready,
it stands up tall on slender stalk,
splits to show a line of petal
between the two halves of its green skin,
as a nun's wimple
shows barely nose, eyes, and chin.
Soon petals pulse, push back the prickly pod,
flounce out,
sway in morning breeze,
dance in the sun,
a flamenco extravaganza,
while the pod partners
bow low,
fall back to watch
in amazement.

 © 2005, Lenore Horowitz