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The Careful Gardener

117 words

Durer-aquilegia-vulgarisThe garden has been left unkempt. Now thorn
and thistle thrive, burr, bramble and stinkweed.
The path that led to tulips, once well-worn,
is overgrown with wort and crabgrass seed.

What grand and stately gardens — Egypt, Greece
and Rome, though under the same sun and clouds
they perished. When great civilizations cease
existing their bleak ruins are but shrouds.

Thus we await the gardener’s return,
who careful, dedicated to his work,
makes certain the weeds, pulled and gathered, burn
efficiently, since others loom and lurk.

Cheat brome and hemlock plot behind the scenes
to overtake the garden and the path.
For him it’s not a war against bad genes,
but of survival, husbandry and math.

29 May 2013


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  1. Thomas Orecchia
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Though this forum often extols the hero and martial heroics of our people, let us not forget that it is the far less romantic endeavor of agriculture and husbandry, Western man’s taming and manipulation of the wild plants and animals around him, that, in large part, created the garden that high culture was able to arise.

    This beautiful poem, an analogy of the of the decay of our Western race, culture and civilization, is perfect in its comparison to the garden and gardener; High culture, like the well-tended garden of unique cultivars, will whither and die if not constantly and caringly nurtured and protected from the elements which seek to overtake it.

    But then, I guess, the need of a heroic guard at the garden gate…

  2. Sandy
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    For a time I was a sales rep of horticultural pesticides, insecticides and good old fertilizer. I visited many grand and stately gardens in genteel decline. There is nothing sadder than a greenhouse with broken panes, overrun orchards and walled gardens in a state of neglect. The poem brought it all back.

    • Stronza
      Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Gardens gone to ruin, both stately and modest, can be cleaned up and revived. Some people love buying such properties and redeeming them. I saw a tv series about this some yr. ago. However, I’m not sure that you can do the same for an ex-nation. We are not potted plants to be purchased from a nursery, the goofy grandiose eugenic plans of some western thinkers notwithstanding.

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