Category Archives: gardening

Desert Names by Mark Penny

479px-Desert_Sandwort

I don’t know the names—
No very names.
Oh, chapparal. Oh, sage.
Vague names.
Oh, cactus, tumbleweed.
Oh, scorpion.
Oh, coiled up shaker of a shaman’s bones.
Oh, crook-limbed walker on the knuckled sands.
Oh, day-lived blossom, thirsting in its death.
Oh, winged portent of the flight of breath.
Half-names,
Bright shadows
In a sun
That beats its laundry past the need of clean.
I am the rag-post.
Mummied graves
Croak the long story of my ignorance.

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Mark Penny has poetry on WIZ and Everyday Mormon Writer and in Sunstone and Dialogue, and fiction on Everyday Mormon Writer and Lowly Seraphim. He was winner of the Wilderness Interface Zone 2012 Spring Poetry Runoff Admin Award, a finalist in the Everyday Mormon Writer Four Centuries of Mormon Stories Contest, and a semi-finalist in the 2014 Mormon Lit Blitz. He hopes the trend will bounce.

Current projects include a poetry collection, a Mormon spec fic collection, a dozen or so novels, a collaboration that will blow your spirit right out of your brain, and a unified theory of narrative.

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Photo: Desert Sandwort via Wikimedia Commons courtesy of BLM Nevada, 2013.

Hibiscus Blooming in Rain by A.J. Huffman

hibiscus

The garden sogs under persistent downpour. Green
grows with a sickly gray clinging like shadows,
cloud contamination. In a quiet corner, lone
hibiscus stretches petals toward sky, embraces
drops battering against brilliance. Resilient
as the solar power color emulates, it remains open,
a burst of warming reassurance that the sky cannot fall
forever.

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Photo by the poet. Follow the links for Huffman’s bio and more at WIZ.

Cherry Tomatoes by April Salzano

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

hang in clusters on delicate vines. The plants
are caged, potted in the driveway. All summer
they have drowned in rain and hose water until flowers
became hard green cysts that grew, ripened and split
wide open. I salvage what I can into folded shirt-basket
though I know no one will eat them. Most have fallen
onto rocks below, dots of bloody pulp punctuate stone.
Wasted.

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Photo by Nate Dworsky.

Salzano’s bio can be found here. For more of her poetry at WIZ, go here.

from The Sensuous Garden by Judith Curtis

Seraglio2 by Judith Curtis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Holly and the Girls5

hollyhocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggplant2

eggplant

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Judith Curtis photoIn addition to writing poetry, directing memoir groups, and writing stories for her grandchildren, Judith Curtis is a Master Gardner in Phoenix and a volunteer at the Desert Botanical Garden. She has published poems in WIZ, Irreantum, Dialogue, Segullah, Exponent II, Sunstone, and Fire in the Pasture. She is currently poetry editor for Exponent II and participated in the Mormon Women’s Writers tour in 2010 organized by Dr. Joanna Brooks and Dr. Holly Welker

Putting Up Peaches by Merrijane Rice

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_De_roze_perzikboom_-_Google_Art_Project

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.

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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.

Small Garden by Sally Cook

As New England Used To Be copy 4

 

Milkweed has risen up, alive and green

And shines in glow of red ball sunset’s rays.

Plump peaches hang from slender branches, seen

Against a patterned, darkened lily bed,

Maroon against bright emerald on the edge.

Wedging, straw flowers, purple, push on through

Amid a cloud of lemon primrose hedge.

 

A floating border spreads  and picks up red

To add some spice to this small sandwiched space.

Here everything pays homage to the fact

Of foliage—plump roses interface

With fruits, where Monarchs flourish and are fed.

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For more from Sally Cook, and a bio, go here.

Painting by the poet: “As New England Used To Be.”

 

An Interlude by Sally Cook

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He was the stream and she the underbrush,

The rain that fell upon his upturned face.

She was the shadowed glade in evening’s hush

That, blotting out the sun, absorbed its grace.

She was the sea, and he the wavering shore—

The harvest moon that hung above her door.

 

A thousand stars crowded to hold one thought

When similes, comparisons were all

That she was left with after she was taught

That streams dry up, butt up against a wall

Where tangled roots are tripped upon in haste.

Sweet woodruff, poison ivy, interlaced.

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For more from Sally Cook, and a bio, go here.

The painting, “White Garden, Emily Dickinson,” was created by the poet while a Wilbur Fellow in 1986.

 

My Latest Trip to the Berkeley Botanical Gardens by Theric Jepson

Sequoia_geant

My Latest Trip to the Berkeley Botanical Gardens

was accomplished with more than the usual number of boys in tow.
Four in fact. Three mine 
and a friend.

To see the metasequoia and false rocks—and mating newts
(it’s that time of year)
spotted first and immediately by my three-year-old
who can’t see a dirty sock on the floor no matter how I point
but a perfectly still newt under a foot of pond water
is unmistakable to his bright eyes.

He’s wearing a Cars cap over his long blond hair and his
favorite part of this trip seems to be the railroad-tie stairs.

The roses in their garden are dormant in February
But somewhere in the Gardens is my love
(with three other boys)
And I am hers.

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Now that his wife has bought a membership to the Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Theric Jepson should be able to visit them more often. He is the author of the novel Byuck.

Photo “Sequoia géant” courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Tangled Women by Sarah Dunster

grapevine tendril by _sjg_

Mother always dreamed of our perfection,
daughters who escaped her careless jumble
with cool minds and clear heads. A strong woman

was (she first thought) in lines of a chi garden
with stones laid straight and raking gravel—
tines in furrows, dug for our perfection.

Then battling with star thistles and watermelons
sprung up from seeds of wars in a tough tumble
of coiling vine, she became the sort of woman

who taught her daughters the raw mysticism
of broken earth while the sting of new soil
stirred us. She demonstrated the perfection

of bulbs thrown, of planting in a pattern
of scatter. With closed eyes, she tossed her handful
in hope that we would all grow to be women

of choice. What renaissance–the perfection
of rebellion in us tangled women.

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For more by Sarah, go here and here.

Green Children by Jenny Webb

tomatoes in the garden-1 by Jenny Webb

Like me, my first children arrived in March. Looking down at them now, their branches bowed and thick with ripened weights, green through the sun’s steady warmth—these unruly creatures bear no obvious relationship to the sweet brown seeds carefully tucked into flimsy plastic trays and lovingly carried outdoors on the days spring chose to trail her warmth along the soil, stirring their pale souls toward the light. In the beginning, when we planted our garden, we worried over our sprouting family, Nick more than I. He cradled the trays as he moved them about the yard, seeking the sun with a visionary faith in our vegetable family. We figured that if the plants lived, we might qualify for a cat by winter and eventually, human children. Continue reading Green Children by Jenny Webb