Summer In the Garden II

A selection of poems by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall (Rated G)

Praying for Rain on Saint Swithin’s Day
Oh, yes, there are pale necromancers still
Like poor Macbeth’s witches summoning facts
That rise like bloated corpses to the surface
Of strange electromechanical cauldrons

But we consult the winds, the clouds, the stars
Whose songs and shapes and brilliant silences
Allow us to savor all mysteries
The hymns of Creation from long ago

Some look into little cauldrons for the rain
But we look up expectantly to God


Sunflower Apogee

The sunflowers droop
And so do we – Midsummer
Is a sleepy time


The Centimeter-Worm

On a summer day

While harvesting the first sunflower seeds
I felt the shyest tickle on my arm
As if the smallest creature in the world
Wanted me to pay attention to it

And it was so – a centimeter-worm
Whose dream was to be an inchworm someday
Arching its little green self in a dance
Of nature: “Look at me too!” was its theme

And when its adagio was complete

I politely bowed the worm-in-training
Stage right onto a refreshing tomato leaf

On a summer day


A Celebration of Water-Hose Clamps

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” -Cicero 1

Poets have been mysteriously silent 2
On the subject of water-hose clamps
Small cylinders or rings, threaded for compression
In mending or nozzling a garden hose

Thus if you have a clamp, you have a hose
In need of mending, and if you have a hose
You have a garden in need of watering
And if you have a garden, you are much blest

And in your garden you can drowse over a book
While meditating upon water-hose clamps


Doctrine of Left-Handed Signatures

For each its purpose every plant is signed
Embedded by the Maker with intents
In willing service to Creation, then
Maybe we shouldn’t tell them how to live

Because if we humans are signed for plants
Embedded by the Maker with intents
In willing service to Creation, then
Maybe they shouldn’t tell us how to live

Dragging hoses for them, weeding for them,
Buying fertilizer – so who’s the boss?

Author’s Note: This is a bit of fun in homage to fictional Sergeant Hathaway in an Inspector Lewis episode, The Soul of Genius.


A Cup of Morning ‘Possum
or
The Great ‘Possum Invasion of 2020

A morning best begins with a cuppa joe
(insert an appropriate ad jingle here)
That first reflective cup of optimism
Given us by our beneficent God

But first I must take the nightly ‘possum away
Far into the woods, away from my tomatoes
The trap set every evening, and sprung every night
‘Possums day after ‘possum day, oh, yay

And so

The garden is at peace, the coffee is hot
The dachshunds are happy, the ‘possum is not

Another cup?

Author’s Note: Opossums / ‘possums are beneficent animals in so many ways (littlethings.com/possum-facts/) and should never be harmed, but if they find your garden vegetables delicious they (the ‘possums, not the vegetables) can be gently repatriated to the wild by way of any of the many types of no-pain, no-kill live-traps. After gardening season I trap them only to put them on the other side of the fence in order to keep them safe from the dogs.


The Platonic Tree

(If Plato had considered a tree instead of a cave. Cf. Republic, Book VII)

For a little child a tree is forever
It is as it was, and will always be
In a dreamy stasis beyond all time
True sunlight flickering pale shadows away

A tree is not a transient republic –
It is a monarchy, and crowned with green
For a royal fellowship ordained by God
This Summer Palace of princes and princesses

As royal children they rule over toys and dolls
Lizards and bees and beetles, dogs and cats
And little chameleons who sometimes pause
To count the coins in their pink moneybags

The ceremonies of ladies and their knights
Are properly observed beneath fair leaves
Upheld by arches and pendentives of oak
Through which sunbeams and magic daydreams fly

And when sweet summer’s children are quite old
Reduced to servitude in paying bills
And answering irrelevant messages
On shrilling importunate telephones:

They will cradle their cave-shadowy ‘phones

And remember that

For a little child a tree is forever


A Casual Conversation with a Goddess
By Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall

What if the moon wants to whisper back to me?
The sky is dark and lonely high up there
Where the goddess sails through an eternally starlit sea
In orbits fixed above earth’s guarded air

Perhaps she is lonely for her brother Helios
And for Endymion, whom she still mourns
And for her sister, dear spritely Eos
Her playfellow in dances to Pan-pipes and horns

What if the moon wants to whisper back to me?
I should listen to her – don’t you agree?

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