herbalist

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

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GREEN FRIENDS

 

Growing and sharing my home

Pots of live

Jars of dried

Bottles of extracts

Brewed under New to Full moonlight

Each with their own personality

Hard not to grow a friendship

With such misunderstood healers

Angelica sinensis

Also known by her Chinese name

Dong Quai

A female ginseng

She had Oh Dee’d on her

Utah boy, Ephedra,

Thinking he looked so much like her

China boy, Ma Huang

But the good news

Ignoring the side effect

Of heart arrhythmia

Was that she dropped into a lower baggie size

Saw palmetto

Serenoa repens, in contrast

Is a Florida boy

Serious male prostate herb

He hungrily eyes Angelica S.

But unable to woo her

Until his nature kicks in

Herbs, so good, yet so slow

To heal

Patience required

Capsicum annum

He’s also known as

Cayenne, our favorite chili ingredient

By day

Plant tourniquet

By night

Magical blood hemostat

Saving me from an operation

When I flooded and drank a few teaspoons

Sanguinaria canadensis

Bloodroot

Parts of it banned by the US FDA

All I can say

Is she saved me from a radical

Slash and burn “cure”

Took a while to work

Took a while to heal

But will always be grateful

For Mother Earth’s gifts

Lovingly sharing her friends

With me

And anyone else

Who can see…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: CS with herb table 1993 or so