Mine To Do

I return to the garden 
after a season
of supporting
those who must

matter most right 
now. Last week, I felt 
like Atlas, not quite 
holding the entire 

world on my back,
but convinced it
would crash down
around me if I

didn’t keep straining
and pushing and 
advocating change.
It has been necessary,

exhausting work, but I
turn back now to the 
business of mowing
and weeding and filling

bird feeders.  By day’s
end, I will be coated
with sweat.  Bits of grass,
twigs, dirt, bugs 

stamped on my skin, 
joiners to the cause.   
And I will stink.
I will stop because 

the sun is fading or 
because I am hungry or
tired, but not because
the job is done.

Tomorrow there will 
be more necessary, 
exhausting work that 
is mine to do.  

© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved

The Old Poet

The old poet
behind a desk
reading aloud
from Frost.
Behind him,
a bookcase
filled with
others’ poems
and a few of his own.

Above the bookcase,
a specimen drawing
of a bluegill.
On top of the bookcase,
between books stacked
and waiting for
a permanent home,
a large feather,
turkey or hawk,
in a mug for soup
long ago surrendered
to pens and feathers.

An Hermes 3000
to his left,
bought new in the sixties,
a well-traveled machine
that has seen Paris,
London, and an
entire season on the
Costa del Sol,
though mostly
untouched then
while the poet
pursued belleza
and drank.

And a shovel,
its handle
propped in the corner
made by the bookcase
and the wall,
waiting to spread
manure or dig
potatoes or take
a side gig as
walking stick
when the reading
ends and the work
of the land
carries on.

The old poet
looks up from
the worn book in
his worn hands
to push the final
words through his
soft stubbled lips.
He closes the book,
assigns reading,
and bids farewell.
A bent finger
clicks the mouse,
and his students

© 2020 Deb Moore,  All Rights Reserved

What the Winter Solstice and Great Pasta Dishes Have in Common

I want to do something to commemorate the Winter Solstice this Sunday.  I don’t necessarily feel the need to dance naked around an oak tree under a full moon, but I have thought for several years in a row now that it would be nice to acknowledge the day in some way.

It’s not an inconsequential day.  To those who were once far more connected to the land, this was a day of natural transition and time for celebration.  It was the shortest day and longest night.  From that moment on, the sun would stay longer and longer each day until it reached the summer solstice.  Bonfires were built to welcome back the sun.  A yule log was lit and kept burning for 12 days.   Homes were decorated with holly, ivy and mistletoe to welcome the nature sprites in.

In what would appear to be a completely unrelated event, I was contemplating what to grow in our garden next year.  I had decided earlier that each year we would try something new in order to slowly add to the list of things we can actually grow beyond the sprout stage without killing.   My choice for this year is garlic.   Although I felt I was jumping the gun, I decided to go ahead and Google garlic to see how it is cultivated.   Turns out garlic is (duh) a bulb that is best planted late fall for harvesting the next summer.

In fact, “traditionally, garlic is planted on the Winter Soltice.”  Yep, that’s what it said.