Micropoem for the day: A poem a day

I usually do a writing session the first thing in the morning. Before I write, I read a short poem. It’s a good exercise to get my language going. Put a little fire into my words. Get a different perspective of the world I live in. It might be from one of a number of poetry books stacked up on the bookshelf behind me. Or it might be from poems.com. Usually it’s from an anthology I have on my kindle. Today’s poem was from Mervyn Morris. He’s a West Indian poet from Jamaica. The poem was called “Little Boy Crying” and there were two lines that struck me:

“of some obscure thing
a vitamin for the soul”


My Black Thumb

 With Spring coming on, I thought this would be the perfect piece to welcome her.

In the long, long time ago, I thought it would be nice to grow some flowers. So I chucked down to the local nursery and asked what would be a good flower to plant. I was overwhelmed with suggestions from that crew. It was like going out to dinner with a bunch of friends. Eight to be exact and they’re all saying, “You gotta try this. And this. And this.”

I mean the staff at the nursery went on and on about annuals and perennials. They suggested hibiscus, azaleas, roses, zinneas, periwinkles, begonias, rain lilies, magnolias, camelias and  all the kinds of flowers. They just knew they’d spiff up my lawn.

Little did they know that my lawn eats cats and dogs for breakfast. I have seen the neighborhood cat running forty miles an hour just to get away from the darn thing. But I didn’t want to disappoint them. So I didn’t share anything about the villain.

I didn’t plan to plant the flowers anywhere near the lawn. I bought several earth boxes and took some of the flowers with interesting sounding names. Begonia sounded Irish, so I took the potential begonia along with a periwinkle and azaleas. The staff threw in an hibiscus for free and I was a happy camper.

The nursery gave me instructions on how to plant, nurse and grow these little cuties into big adult flowers. The instructions came in a roll as long as a roll of toilet paper. I also bought some accessories like a little shovel to dig a hole in the dirt.

It cost me a big chunk of change but it was worth it. I mean, when I left that place, I was a ready teddy. And I was feeling good about myself. I was ready to beat that global warming single-handed and with one hand tied behind my back.

I got home and set the earth box out on my porch. I put it in a spot my lawn couldn’t see just in case. I got out my tiny shovel and dug holes in the dirt and planted my flowers. I watered them nice-like. Then I went back in my house, got myself a beer and settled into my nice comfy chair. You wouldn’t believe the smile I had on my face. I had done a good day’s work and I couldn’t have been happier.

Well, over the next few weeks, I watered them flowers just like the instructions in Chapter 32 of my roll said. I did not feed them the cheap plant food. I gave them the Good Stuff. Day after day, I did this for about two weeks.

Then one night I woke up to the weirdest sounds. It sounded like the noise was coming from the earth box. I ran out to the flowers and all of them were choking. They were having trouble breathing. Several of them had gone to the Big Flower Box in the Sky. One of the periwinkles choked out, “Water, water, water.”

I ran and filled the watering can. I got to the box. The periwinkle said, “Not tap water. Bottled wa–” and he died. It was the end of my flower-planting career. I asked my neighbor what had happened. He said, “So you thought you had a Green Thumb. Well, guess what. You and I both have black thumbs. The best thing you can do is go down to that nursery. Start dating the first single woman you meet there. Then marry her. That way you’ll have a Green Thumb in the family.”

And that’s exactly what I did. She has a way with flowers. And my lawn loves her too. Her name is Petunia Tree.

micropoem for the day: St. Patrick’s Day

Okay. I admit it. I do like St. Paddy’s Day. Just a bit of a reminder who this superhero of the Irish is. He’s the fellow that ran the snakes out of Ireland. He’s the fellow who made Catholics out of the Celts. Before St. Patrick, the Celts would do anything for a bar fight. Their greatest hero’s greatest deed was to defend Ulster from a queen who wanted to steal a cow. His name was Cú Chulainn. And in those days, cow stealing was a no-no.

St. Patrick’s Day,
leprechauns, shamrocks, Seamus Heaney;
words to delight the tongue.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Seamus Heaney

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, this week’s Spotlight Creator is the great Irish poet, Seamus Heaney:

Upon his death

Making Sense of a Life

Seamus Heaney was our Irish poet. Just as Derek Walcott was our Caribbean poet. He sang songs so dug into the Irish soil that they were universal. He sang with a poet’s voice that was as beautiful as Everest is tall. He threw out the net of his words in such a way that they caught the attention of all us fishes.

We thought we would have him forever. Too often we fool ourselves into believing an artist, a poet, will continue among us. They will continue to give more and more of the poetry pouring out of him. It’s such an illusion.

Our bubble has burst. Seamus Heaney’s voice has been lifted from among us and risen to join his brothers and sisters in the heavens: Homer, Sappho, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats, Frost, Eliot, Bishop, Hughes and the Others. And I am sure he is finding new ways to sing Hallelujah.

But we can be thankful for the time we had with him and the glorious poetry he gave us. One of his lines can best sum up the motto for any artist. I know it does for me. “Walk on air against your better judgement”, from one of his poems, “The Gravel Walks”. It’s the epitaph on his gravestone.

Thank you, Seamus.

Micropoem of the day: Trees

This ain’t your Joyce Kilmer “Trees”. You know the lines. “I think that I shall never see / A poem as lovely as a tree.” I agree with the sentiment but not sure I care for the poem. Maybe it’s just become to familiar. I have been known to sing ecstatically over trees. They are such lovely creatures. Definitely a superior species. I think God must have liked Planet Earth a lot because She gave us trees. And so many. So this one is for the trees. 

The old trees commune
with the younger ones
on how to tree.