“If poetry comes not as naturally as the Leaves to a tree it had better
not come at all.”
—from an 1818 letter to John Taylor, by John Keats
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What follows is an Internet-published poem by Larry: http://www.brooklyn-usa.org/Pages/Poetry/poetry69.htm
That winter when we cleared the wood beyond the barn,
I asked if we could leave that cedar tree.
It bore a nest abandoned by its builder.
You laid aside your saw, looked down at me and said,
“They won’t be back next spring, you know;
Birds soon learn to fly and leave the nest for good.”
Now I know that you were right;
And yet, you let it stand for me.
I wonder, Dad, does it stand there still?
I’ve not been home to see.
The Vegetable Garden
That garden from my ancient youth lived
Within a border built of wood and wire design
All covered with the twining fingers of a morning glory vine.
Within this garden great foodstuff flourished—wages for our toil.
But I fixed my gaze on the bolder beauty of the fence’s bright bouquets.
That canvas of color in summery sunrise glowed,
Bursting anew each sunup with shades of pink and red—
Or perhaps grew some deeper hue of purple with streaks of cobalt blue exposed.
Such surprise was what made it fine.
The vine’s easy exhibition of splendor I held in high esteem,
For a worker’s garden—evermore pleading attention to turning soil—
Was not of interest to a boy just tipping thirteen.
Never did I consider why the flowers fade so fast—
Just beyond that morning’s dew—
And how richly gave my garden of luscious fare
That surely would provide sweet repast—
For that day and then the winter too.
Many years beyond our move from that rural spot,
Anchored in my memory by our little garden plot,
I returned one day to find my homestead in decline
With occupants who did not care for a garden divine.
The fence had fallen from disrepair.
And then to even more despair,
I saw that with a working garden gone
Morning glories cannot carry on.