I have been taught never to brag but now
I cannot help it: I keep
a beautiful garden, all abundance,
indiscriminate, pulling itself
from the stubborn earth: does it offend you
to watch me working in it,
touching my hands to the greening tips or
tearing the yellow stalks back, so wild
the living and the dead both
snap off in my hands?
The neighbor with his stuttering
fingers, the neighbor with his broken
love: each comes up my drive
to receive his pitying,
accustomed consolations, watches me
work in silence awhile, rises in anger,
walks back. Does it offend them to watch me
not mourning with them but working
fitfully, fruitlessly, working
the way the bees work, which is to say
by instinct alone, which looks like pleasure?
I can stand for hours among the sweet
narcissus, silent as a point of bone.
I can wait longer than sadness. I can wait longer
than your grief. It is such a small thing
to be proud of, a garden. Today
there were scrub jays, quail,
a woodpecker knocking at the white-
and-black shapes of trees, and someone’s lost rabbit
scratching under the barberry: is it
indiscriminate? Should it shrink back, wither,
and expurgate? Should I, too, not be loved?
It is only a little time, a little space.
Why not watch the grasses take up their colors in a rush
like a stream of kerosene being lit?
If I could not have made this garden beautiful
I wouldn’t understand your suffering,
nor care for each the same, inflamed way.
I would have to stay only like the bees,
beyond consciousness, beyond
self-reproach, fingers dug down hard
into stone, and growing nothing.
There is no end to ego,
with its museum of disappointments.
I want to take my neighbors into the garden
and show them: Here is consolation.
Here is your pity. Look how much seed it drops
around the sparrows as they fight.
It lives alongside their misery.
It glows each evening with a violent light.
Happiness by Paisley Rekdal, via 1
40s/50s Style Floral Chiffon Dress With Silk Lining: bought from the sale at Toast years ago
Vintage 70s Does 40s Blue & White Tilt Hat: from Ebay
Black Lace Peep Toe High Heels: old from New Look
Anita O'Day: All The Sad Young Men
Photographs taken by me, self portraits using the timer on my little digital camera.
I've had an eye infection for over a month now, which means I'm allowed to wear neither mascara nor concealer to cover up those dark shadows under the eyes. But I've decided to think of the gorgeous ambassador for dark shadows, Jeanne Moreau, and celebrate my dark rings as seductive, maybe even intellectual looking....
Apologies I've not been visiting and commenting on your posts much lately due to overwork, looking forward to popping by your lovely blogs this weekend!