Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Tag Archives: Weeds

Wisconsin Mud

Autumn task
Baskets of weeds
Seeds fall to soil
Toil with the tiller

Clay ground first
Curse of my garden
Hardens like rock
Mocks my feeble shovel

Red, this level
Beveled by tilling machine
Green detritus mixes
Fixes a greyer hue

Potting soil on top
Prop myself with a rake
Stakes then reposted
Toasted from our labors

Add soil meant for pot
Plot now proper brown
Garden set for sleep
Steep some tea and rest

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Sunday Scribblings, the prompt was simply “mud.” I’m also putting this on a shelf in the Poetry Pantry at Poets United and spilling on the bar at dverse Open Mic Night!

Of course, the damnable ironweed of earlier in the season (CLICK HERE) refused to disclose the center of its evil web of roots, and the pye wede followed suit. Monica planted some spring bulbs in front; a failed daisy plant finally sprang into life in late autumn, surprise! More daisies will be planted, as well as tiger lilies, the bulbs go in now. Next spring, we hope to have a plethora of pots: Herbs, petunias, Sweet William, lobelia, and Johnny Jump-ups (my favorite).


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!