July heat is the reason for
stems heavy with blooms,
excessive flower clusters
waiting to fruit.
Broccoli rabe overflows
a terra cotta planter;
yellow blossoms pour
over its edges.
In a pot beside it,
with tiny white flowers;
over in the corner,
the grand creeping cucumbers
shoot out leaves larger
than two hand spans
from thick fuzzy stems,
Friends and neighbors
told me I didn’t
properly plant my seeds;
seems I sowed too many
in my green enthusiasm.
Wearing again their
good intentions, they now warn,
“don’t let everything go to seed,
you won’t be able to eat
what you have over planted.”
I smile and say nothing;
I’ve no desire to consume
these buckets of flowering green.
At least not now. I’m content
to watch nature unfold,
as she will. I watch her exuberance
in making seeds from flowers,
and she’s none the worse for it.
In the front yard,
I seeded a standing planter,
four feet off the ground. It’s a garden misfit,
without apparent rhyme or reason in
the order of things. From its bed,
the radishes have grown over four feet.
Their long, slender stems now rise like
monuments; nearly eight feet
off the ground, they tower over
tomatoes, rabe, arugula, cucumber,
in flowering pink profusion.
The overgrown bulbs
bulge from the soil; they show
their round red roots in shameless
exhibitionism, while their flowering
pink tops wave above. I never knew that radishes
bloomed delicate pink-magenta flowers
which attract white butterflies; I never imagined dainty
lepidoptera playfully dancing around
fat bellied monuments that sing
red-purple love songs to diaphanous
Perhaps next year
I will harvest radishes
and rabe and arugula; perhaps next year,
I will see something to eat,
something whose beauty
is folded into an even greater beauty.
This year I’m happy
to watch radishes in
2 Replies to “The Wonder of Radishes”
I agree with the sentiment that one can enjoy a garden on its own terms rather than feel guilt at not harvesting the edibles. Lovely poem (though I confess it did make me want to eat a radish).
Despite my aesthetic claims, I think if the writing made you want to eat a radish, I was successful. Thanks for stopping by.