Providing grounds for the greening of human language.





Putting Up Peaches by Merrijane Rice

by Jonathon | 2.07.14


Beside the garden wall where grapevines run,
a peach tree stands, diseased and bent with age.
Her blackened branches reach up to the sun
in daily supplication for her wage.

Each year, I think, must surely be her last,
but faithfulness is undeterred by whims.
So, not content to rest on harvests past,
she bears young fruit on geriatric limbs.

With every spring, new buds and blooms emerge
and swell with promise fed by summer rains.
Though twisted and decrepit, still the surge
of liquid light flows through her ancient veins.

I’ll gather and preserve her living gold
to line my pantry shelves against the cold.

MRice-HeadshotMerrijane is a resident of Kaysville, Utah, where the mountains loom large, the sky is beautiful even when it’s gray, and the geese are always just passing through. She loves nature in a literary sense, often drawing from it to write poetry. But do not even think about trying to take her camping unless there is a structure nearby with functional plumbing.

Image: Vincent van Gogh, De roze perzikboom (The pink peach tree), 1888.

5 Responses to Putting Up Peaches by Merrijane Rice

  1. Merrijane Rice

    I love the artwork you put with this. It’s perfect.

  2. Jonathon

    It’s kind of a talent. :)

    And so is yours. Thanks for blessing the ship with your two lovely sonnets: very much in the spirit of the post-Shakespeare sonneteers, I think. Love, after all, is manifold.

  3. Patricia

    Yes! Loved this. It stocked my head with images.

    I have seen such trees and admired them, thought: I want to be like that.

  4. Sarah Dunster

    My favorite thing about this piece is how you point out that in nature, reproduction continues until the end of life. I like the loving way you treat the subject matter. Honoring her efforts by using the fruit.

  5. Carma Rose deJong Anderson

    Oh, Merrijane, today, the 31st of May, I found you and want to tell you I did the same things with my old apricot tree. They were so tough, I cut them up and put in crushed pineapple to augment them with honey for freozen jam! I also want to let you have a missing part of my submission of poetry for Utah sings. My computer bvalked and Ilost some stuff but called in help today and missed getting my little bio into my submission that was postmarked the 31st. So here,no that I can make the computer work well with help, I send you my bio: I have cut out 40 things that are important to me, but it can still be cut more if you wish.I’ve had a varied life–like six lives in my 84 years:

    Carma Rose,named for her mother Rosabelle Winegar deJong wrote poetry and painted since she was able to wield a brush or write her ABCs and loved acting and barefoot dancing. She traveled the world with her widower father and then her husband. Joyously married at BYU in 1951 to Richard L. Anderson (fulling up with Ancient History, and Joseph Smith). She taught 4 children in language classes and in foreign countries.Credit classes went on for 56 years until 1992 PhD in Historic Clothing and Art History.Portuguese poetry is world’s MOST musical and beautiful!

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