garden

MUSA PICASSO*

fan of bananas
inflorescence spent
muppet-like in profile
seed sack sprouted
as the sub tropical fruit
like rows of infants
in neonatal incubators
absorbs the heat and humidity
soon to mature
and offer themselves up
to mammalian mouths
impatiently waiting

*Specially bred banana tree with purple stripes and purple leaf backs

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Musa Picasso with muppet-like inflorescence and young bananas

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TANKA (ANANAS COMOSUS #2)

THEY ARE GROWING!  HERE IS THIS MORNING’S TANKA AND THE  ONE I WROTE ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO WHEN THE COMPOST HEAP BEGAN TO SPROUT PINEAPPLES…

(Another morning surprise in my compost pile)

Almost two years passed
And two pineapples appeared
Rubbed my morning eyes
Prickly in overgrown green
Armor hiding yellow treats

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Pineapple growing!

pineapple fields 1
ORIGINAL TANKA WRITTEN 12-23-17:

TANKA (ANANAS COMOSUS)

(Morning surprise in my compost pile)

Fresh pineapple stems
Tossed in fertile Florida
Treat for backyard birds
Silent, self-rooting surprise
Pineapple fields forever…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: My pineapple “field”

BARD’S GARDEN

(an early morning meandering poem for my tarot book)

Unable to sleep so
Reading about the
Shakespeare Garden
Where only plants
Mentioned in his plays
Sonnets, writings
Are allowed to flourish
Impossible to plant one
In Florida
At least for an amateur
Apple trees? Not possible
In a yard loaded with
Live Oaks and dripping
Spanish Moss
I see myself walking around
Pulling off a leaf
Releasing the scent
By squeezing out the life
Can’t sleep because I get crazy
About being a vegetarian
Because so sure plants feel pain
But the alternative is to starve
Besides, I’ve become a pescetarian
In my old age
Craving protein

So here’s my drabarni’s garden
With tarot cards and crystals
Hanging from trees
And I suddenly hear the Beatles sing
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Code for LSD? we wondered in our teens
Never dropped acid myself
Always high on life
Did take some tokes
And now 2 bottles of Hemp Oil
Wait for me on the computer table
Will it help my creaky joints
Or is it better to smoke a joint
Are they still called that?
Didn’t do much weed
Yes, it enhanced happiness
Creativity
But also sadness

So where was I?
Shakespeare’s garden
So tossing and turning
I imagine walking around my
Themeless garden
A mad bard’s garden
Instead of planting
All the botanicals
Appearing in my poems
I write the poems
Based on what’s already planted
Floratam and wild grasses
January daisies
Browned air potato vines
And banana leaves
Tattered ginger greens
Hiding the harvest below ground
Naked mulberry trees
Chili peppers frozen in clumps
Palms waving in forty degrees
Dreaming of summer’s flames of
Red Hibiscus
Orange Cosmos
Yellow Jasmine
Dressed in bright green
Turquoise dragon flies flitting
Indigo skies cooling solar flares
Violet waves residing in planetary tides
None appear in a Shakespeare world
But it is winter
And I think of the drabarni

Drabarni is the Empress
Queen of Wands
She is every woman in the tarot deck
Who nurtures and heals
Body and soul
TAROT CARDS ARE A VEHICLE
To bring two together
The Interpreter is really the listener
Feeling the pain or anxiety
From the Questioner
Silently begging for
Alleviation
Rejuvenation
From the shadow side of life
Tarot cards are
After all
Pieces of wood
Pieces of cardboard
Numbers and symbols
Yet, a way to open a dialog
Between the confusing world
And those of us who sometimes wander
Alone and entwined in a hopeless fog
TAROT CARDS ARE A MAP
Terrestrial navigation
Through gardens of chaos
Into orderly beds of
Comforting words
“Help me, I’m lost!”
Cries the Questioner
And all the Interpreter can say is
“I will try…”

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Winter Banana Tree

GRANULAR CONVECTION (The Brazil Nut Effect)

Surprise treasure from the Earth
Pushing up shattered pieces of art
Like volcanoes forming islands
Over the millennia
Broken, delicate
A message brought
By flooding rain
Pounding the dirt
That once absorbed
The free mulch
Mountains of mulch
At the city recycling center
Shoveled into garbage bags
Brought home to be dumped
On a ten by twelve garden spot
Productive for years
In healthier days
Now evolved into a
Radio Control car track
And later, a robot walkway
Yesterday, I tripped and saw
A piece of cement etched with
A trinity of painted leaves
Once someone’s garden step-stone
To me, a message from the trees
Leaves!
Fighting its way
Via granular convection
To the surface of my flooded
Back yard
To remind me
Rain, heat and humidity
While uncomfortable
Bring much-needed growth…

GC4 SM PX

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Track with prize of leaves & mulch

NPR free mulch pile sm px

POEM BY MY FRIEND CAROLE HUGHES

Sharing this lovely poem by my friend Carole Hughes:

 

For my Mother (1913 – 2001):

…………In the Garden……..
I dreamed of a garden
in it my mother
was tending the flowers
as was her wont
on earth
you kept all your pain inside
an avalanche of pain
to make you insane
and throw you into a well
with that sad sound in your head
yet to you it was like snow
or feathers
a part of your plumage
or the scents of your flowers
their heavenly colours more radiant
than on any terrestrial ground
discrete profiles of bluebells
and lilies
larkspur and roses
so familiar and yet so haunting
with a power to unsettle
and to console
I picked one rose
from its thorny stem
feeling the thorns between us
this is from me, I said
and when I awoke
sweet-scented petals
lay about the room
and I saw my mother’s smile
the thorns had become roses.

…… carol j. hughes

THE ROOT QUEEN

Embrace the heat

Of Winter Solstice

No white Christmas

Not even a cool, Florida day

But the prize is a full moon

Plant those roots:

Ginger, carrots, yams

Throw in some garlic and onions

What a goulash they will make

Hot, humid, but the Earth

Coating my hands as I dig

The sweet-smelling manure

That the dogs try to eat,

Makes up for the heat

Setting of the full moon

In the pink of dawn,

No longer high

Eyes of ginger

Gaze to the sky

Bulbs of garlic—

Vampires?

Prepare to die!

And soon there will be onions

Ready to fry!

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Flowering ginger from CS garden