Porch sitting

Wood Storks Close Up

I practice the art of porch sitting,
with my exposed heart outside my ribs
while black banded wood storks
glide to arboreal landings.

The folding of their wings catches me
tucks me into their bird-boned bodies,
integrates me to feathers.

Wind shifts, branches quaver.
A bird startles. Releases
me into the humid, fecund air.

I gentle down into my rocker,
as my heart beats from the exertion.


May Gardenias

May nights are a conjugation
of old scents. Magnolia. Jasmine. Gardenia.
Hunkered in darkness, they jump up,
Buss you on the lips and keep
their own counsel, as a favorite grandmother would.
All lace and grey hair, last century style.
Nature listens to no one. Prefers old school.
And though I don’t need to approve, I do
relishing her timeless scents.

Autumn Litany

Edited 2013-10-02 09.31.34

Gladdening skies greet the Autumnal Equinox.

Earth’s journey dims as mine begins.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

Roadside flowers.

Ruderal species have advantage.

Opportunists, they

thrive in disturbed margins.

I chant their names in concert

with their fall reappearance.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

Edited 2013-10-02 09.31.47

Goldenrod tall on the shoulders

Sentinel flag. A waving banner.

Dips in the car’s slipstream.

Purple Gerardia / hairy false foxgloves,

in balloon-bud, vow clouds of fuchsia.

Here a riot of pink Morning Glories

open-throated, sing in cool crispness. Climbing over

fences. Rosy pink gleaminess.

While whiter cousins, Man-root glories

trumpet with violet gullets.

Joined by the mauve Asters.

Constellations of petals.

Button composite centers.

Perfect bunches.

Pink knotweed spikes.

Minuscule buds like clustered

Pearls. I know you too.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

In flooded ditches shrubs–

Marsh Mallows. Hibiscus moscheutos.

Wild cotton they call you. Your cultivated cousins

stand in rows. You, though, are unruliness.

Shrubby excess. A gleam of white

at the edge of dark woods. Your throat

deep purple unseen at sixty miles an hour.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

Dotted Horsemint. Whorls its stem.

Fills ditches in gleeful resurgence.

Yellow. Gold. Pink. Purple.

Edited 2013-09-29 15.42.49

Upland, purple blue morning glories

anthem of delight. Intensity.

And a final chorus.

My floral recital.

Every verse spoken.

Ritual. Seasonal reappearance.

My fall litany. Anthem really.

Homegrown Tomatoes


July. She stands among the tomatoes
Pinioned in conical wire cages
Red fruit grows plump with ruby shoulders
Blushing with exposure. Long days of sun.
And rain. Too much rain.
In rivulets it pools between
Delicate roots covered by hillocks
that rise like mountains from a flooded valley.

In February cradled in Dixie Cups, seedlings
Reached for the sun from their perch
Atop the chest-freezer on the glassed-in porch.
A growing future, a bounty promised
In pictures on the front of the seed packets
Each envelope inverted on popsicle sticks prevents
Mixups between Big Boys and Better Boys.
As if she could get them confused with Terrifics.

In early April, not late March as she had wanted,
They were set-out in their rows. Then yellow
Star-shaped flowers twinkled on branches.
Infinitesimal, unseen golden pollen granules drifted.
Startled from the flower by sonicating bees’ wings
and by the bump of the doe as she meandered at sunrise.

Fruit set. Green nubbins appeared in May.
Veined marbles she had thought as she picked off
Tomato fruitworms, squashing them in the dirt.
She draped protective bird netting in a battle
With the mockers who stood and pecked
Laughing, she felt, at her defensive efforts.

And now in July their sides split
From too much rain. They weep
Rivulets of juicy life.

Photo credit: Tomato flower by flickr user audreyjm529

Nighttime Caper Equals Morning Mystery


Someone strung diamonds on the spartina.
A task which indeed required hours and
thousands of workers. Certainly, they did it in the dark
so as the sun rose glints would fly from the edge of every blade.
Truly, this was a Herculean job. Not for the weak or the lazy.

Possibly the Marsh Hens did it with their long bills,
they are, most likely, good with a needle and thread.
But if they did not do it, perhaps the wren with her nimble
feet, which cling to each upright stalk, was the culprit.

Oh, I am sure it was the wren because she was there
as the sun rose over the horizon. However, there
is also the probability that there are fairy folk living
with us, building houses in the alluvial muck of the estuary.
But no one sees them, so, perhaps it was the Mallards who
masterminded it all. After all, I saw their webbed
footprints in trails across the lawn.

Yes, it must have been the Mallards. They are always bossy.
Quacking at everybody. Stopping traffic so they may waddle
across the road down to the lagoon. Yes, I’m sure the Mallards
directed it, but the question remains, whose agile work left
acres of precious gems there only for my delight?
Who are the mignons of this night-time alliance that
results in my early morning joy?