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Community Gardens - A Tanka

Poetry By: Wilbur

Please note. In this piece, 'gardener' uses the 3-syllable pronounciation:'gar-den-er.' If said: 'gard-ner,' the form is broken because the count is off.
I find being able to write like this - so crisply - a lark. The only demand is that you count. Again. And again. And then, once more, you count again!

Submitted:Apr 22, 2012    Reads: 59    Comments: 7    Likes: 0   

Community Gardens - (a Tanka)

Pathways run crisscross
To mark out the beds in squares
Setting each apart
Long and thin or short and fat
Bordered carefully
Edged in narrow slats of wood
Add, free top soil and tool shed

Those who garden here
Some singly to work alone
Some in families
Value thorough over fast
Go slow and steady
To cut through a winter's sleep
And renew earth's promises

And now they are here
Stand kicking at the edges
Hands on hips looking
The earth's cover lies waiting
Color tells its state
Untouched winter-pale dry dirt
Soon to be soil under siege

Clearing is the start
Clean out winter detritus
Some bend to their work
Sharp spade blades biting in deep
Others do their work
With knees planted in the dirt
Hand tools used to break the clods

Pungent smells emerge
Fresh turned earth its own perfume
The gardeners work
Rising stooping shuffling round
Hands too dirt covered
Arms rise, swipe at sweat-wet brows
Work doesn't stop for comfort

Later in the day
Comes the time for watering
Children run to help
Turn the taps to fill the cans
Adults lug them back
Water turns earth chocolate
Rainbows arc in spraying mist

At last rinse hands clean
Dirt streams off in rivulets
Shaking helps them dry
Aching hands rub achy backs
Children and adults
Take last looks from tired eyes
Walking now to waiting cars

Old hands tell the new
Wait and don't plant till after
The last May full moon
Or if you want early peas
Plant Patriot's Day
You'll have peas on July fourth
Though some still say no - too soon


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