TCS: A Garden Smelling Like Honey and Peace

. . Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

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May 13 through May 19 is National Public Gardens Week in the U.S.

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The tree in my next door neighbor’s yard that was bare branches all winter is now thick with deep green leaves, and rose bushes are covered in bright rose-red blooms. Even our “dead” yard is sprouting small clumps of green grass. Two years of winter rains after our long drought are beginning to make a difference.

The view out the window behind my desk has improved considerably. Time for a garden poem. I like this one from Katherine Riegel, because all of her choices are flowers and herbs I love too.

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What I Would Like to Grow in My Garden

by Katherine Riegel

Peonies, heavy and pink as ’80s bridesmaid dresses
and scented just the same. Sweet pea,
because I like clashing smells and the car
I drove in college was named that: a pea-green
Datsun with a tendency to backfire.

Sugar snap peas, which I might as well
call memory bites for how they taste like
being fourteen and still mourning the horse farm
I had been uprooted from at ten.
Also: sage, mint, and thyme—the clocks
of summer—and watermelon and blue lobelia.

Lavender for the bees and because I hate
all fake lavender smells. Tomatoes to cut
and place on toasted bread for BLTs, with or without
the b and the l. I’d like, too, to plant
the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace,
and for it to bloom even when it’s hot,

and also lilies, so I have something left
to look at when the rabbits come.
They always come. They are
always hungry. And I think I am done
protecting one sweet thing from another.


“What I Would Like to Grow in My Garden,” © 2018 by Katherine Riegel. First appeared in Tin House magazine, Spring 2018


Katherine Riegel is the author of two poetry collections, What the Mouth Was Made For (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and Castaway (FutureCycle Press, 2010). She is the co-founder and poetry editor of Sweet: A Literary Confection.

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What do you dream of putting in your garden,
even if it’s only in your imagination?

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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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