Bio Note: After gardening successfully year round for fifteen years in southern Nevada, my efforts in Lubbock, Texas are a humbling endeavor. I am always pushing the seasons, battling the wind and cold, having to cover the raised beds most nights. But the satisfaction of already harvesting lettuce, spinach, and swiss chard is an amazing treat.
Outage and Inner Life
There is a reckless and irreverent wonder when all is smothered white. I love that cloaked in feel the unpredictable loss of control. When schedules are wiped clean, battles buried. And in a breath all mechanical dies. In that instant, darkness plunges day back 100 years. When reading by lantern light wasn’t inconvenience. Fifty years of experience is brewing in my backpacking stove. The warmth of mugs, the savor of chocolate and coffee, and the crackle of fire are magnified. In this shell of our house we enjoy a different life hoping it will last awhile.
Under the Boxelder Tree
There is a reason Idaho rhymes with snow. It stakes its claim any day and selfishly remains undecided as to when and if it will give up its hold. In those tiresome days before it decided when snow forts were dirty clumps and the ice rink puddles of slush. I looked to the boxelder tree in the pasture across from our house. It sprawled like a spider over the irrigation ditch and kids could bridge from side to side if one dared. When the Evening Grosbeaks arrived they feasted on the winged boxelder seeds. I was caught up in wonder, they were only three or four feet above me. They reminded me of football players, with their chunky yellow shape and black helmets with yellow horns. Their horns and vise-gripped beaks, made them serious looking birds. And they were serious about crunching seeds. I didn’t realize then, their visit was a condescension, their hunger allowed them to put up with me. Boxelder seeds were convenience food, food to fuel their flight to higher country. It would only be days until my father was spading the garden and robins gleaning grubs and worms. And I would bike up to the foothills and forest, and like the grosbeaks I would look for feasts.
©2023 Mark Weinrich
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL