Wisconsin’s prairie blooms in green
with occasional glimmers of silver grass
shivering in soft breezes and
pierced by deep violet clover
Dead trees, grey and
stalkstill as gravestones,
still force a new branch or two
The root of Jesse sprung anew
They refuse to give in to death
Stubborn as Midwesterners,
tough; hard to break, tenacious
Never say die
As daylight wanes and red sets,
we cruise Route 69
Around every bend,
a simple feast of foraging
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
At Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Marian introduced us to the music of Tim Eriksen, a uniquely American folk artist, and asked us to conjure poems that reflect Americana. This morning, I would have been stumped, but as luck would have it, we took a day trip to New Glarus (yeah, our favorite brand of beer is made there, and oh, did we have a bit of fun!) and marveled at the breadth of the prairie grasses. Verdant, vibrant, strumming those heartstrings like Tim’s guitar, here in the breadbasket of America. I am so proud to live in Wisconsin (except for the politics, which we took a day off from monitoring for peace of mind).
First, a plug for my friend Dani’s site, My Heart’s Love Songs. I am honored to be the featured poet at her blog this week, and she speaks about the global community we are creating by interlinking our blogs. Thanks, Dani!
Always and Forever, Ironweed (dammit)
Our first spring here, a bit of garden space.
Colors came to every garden, save ours.
Only one flower – no crocuses, nor lilies,
nor tulips – but a massive bush of columbine.
Its flowers, sweet pink and yellow
Surveying the remainder: Weeds.
Carefully planted, cultivated weeds,
but who the hell cultivates weeds anyway?
Milkweed and the invasive monster
known as Ironweed, plus some grasses.
Friends took snippets, but what remained
was grief, plus my secret desire to torch it all.
I’m not hip to gardening, nor drawn to
communing with worms… so, with pretty new
red spade in hand (hey, at least I’m
fashionable), I delved into the muck.
Dug around, dug into, but never got under
the pernicious Ironweed. The stillness of
the evening shattered by my clatter, the
prying, the watering of clay dirt to loosen soil,
fingers fumbling, a botched surgery in an
intestinal mess that was the bowel of the weed,
until, YES! One last backbreaking tug – the
plant uprooted and I was on my ass, triumphant.
Attached to the weed’s butt, yam-like, marrowed
spurs of root, tangled as Kardashians in a mosh pit,
evil as Triffids – or those pods in the horror
movie that hatch your zombie replacement.
(Perhaps this is how the Tea Party started?)
Next day, peering out our kitchen window. Monica’s
birthday snapdragons, potted and hanging from
a shepherd’s hook; the lovely, swaying columbine;
fresh-planted herbs; two new begonias and…
an offshoot sprig of Ironweed, fully two feet
from the devil’s own plant I’d just dug up.
I s’pose my pod replicant can deal with this,
once it’s done growing the New Me in our basement.
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Sunday Scribblings, “Always,”and for The Sunday Whirl: Secret, Colors, Window, Grief, Massive, Hips, Clatter, Marrow, Perhaps, Hand, Flower, Stillness, Crocuses.
Also at my poetic garden (which has no Ironweed), Poets United and at dverse Open Mic Night!