18 May 2013

The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Two stands of ornamental grass
Dried and rattling
Thin, hollow, like tiny bird bones,
Sit at the north- and southwest corners

Gray decaying lavender, like a beached whale,
Quietly dies in the southwest corner
Its once blue-green leaves balding
To show the gnarled, leafless interior

Opposite sits an octopus rosemary,
Splayed and raunchy, the evergreen fronds,
The old growth, ready to spiral out green tissue
As soon as the shearer’s back is turned

Purple-blue blossoms browning,
Seeds dropping rosemary’s babies
Spider-made sails once stretched between the branches
Now even rags and tatters gone

Quince buds untwist into leaves and flowers
Variegated pink and white
Tapered, aristocratic thorns stand sentry
But snap at barest pressure
Christmas-day planted garlic
Reaches with narrow green fingers
Through near frozen soil
In that sunny spot beneath the bird feeder

In the center, beside the tiny three by three
Textured cement paver courtyard
The branches of the weeping willow
Make shepherd crooks for the birds to loiter

Mint, damned mint
Crowds along the west border
Through the grasses, under the quince
And tickles the corpse of lavender

I will have mint until the day I die
And when I’m buried, I will have
“She should have put down a root barrier”
Engraved on my headstone

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