Monday, December 04, 2006

I rake the leaves

















I rake the leaves up every fall,
gather the piles in a garbage can,
tote the can and dump them all,
and start the process over again.

The compost pile, high and brown,
rests all winter without care,
until in spring, I dig down
to mine the wealth that's buried there.

That sweet-smelling black gold,
warm from the bottom of the heap,
is like a story still untold,
or the dreams of leaves asleep.

And when I shovel it out upon
the garden where tomatoes grow
and morning glories bloom at dawn,
I think of what the garden knows

of leaves and dreams, how they transform
from lifeless stuff that's hidden deep
into the green and real, newborn.
Dreams grow from my compost heap.


Click on the photo to see a larger version.

23 Comments:

Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

and in the darkness there is a light, diamonds are discovered in the darkest places!
...and when your tomatoes are ripe and red, I am coming for lunch, i will bring the liquid gold olive oil!

12/04/2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous marja-leena said...

Oh, an ode to compost! I must remember it next spring when I, too, dig it out and spread it in the garden. Thanks, MB.

12/04/2006 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dreams of leaves asleep and a dreaming compost pile - I like thinking of that as I heap leaves on my garden beds. I wonder if leaves dream of being someting other - flowers perhaps, or birds...

12/04/2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger polona said...

there is a time for rest and a time for growth... excellent as always, mb!

12/04/2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger charlie said...

I hate gardening
I hate cats
I hate compost... heaps.

But the poem is good

:o)

12/04/2006 12:33 PM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

this is a wonderful way of looking at a chore that a lot of people abhore. with the raking you are contributing to the dream making.

12/04/2006 12:40 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

fabulous alchemy of words! compost to gold! love it!

12/04/2006 12:48 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Beautiful resonance and mind pictures. I can practically smell this :-)

12/04/2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Different paths to similar ends. Yours for growing rich tomatoes and mine for grass (the lawn kind). Love the rhythm and rhyme!!

12/04/2006 2:28 PM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

A wonderful rhyme for the compost heap. Sometimes a potato or even an avocado have grown directly out of our pile. Life is stirring, planning for spring.

12/04/2006 2:47 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

I didn't know it could be done - You have turned compost into beauty!

12/04/2006 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Becca said...

... makes me think of what is hidden deep in me - buried - that should be given life ... now how do I get that from a poem about compost? You're just gifted at making us see and think many different things ...

12/04/2006 7:24 PM  
Anonymous hajera said...

love the poem and the imagery, especially.

12/04/2006 7:40 PM  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Love this!

12/05/2006 9:40 AM  
Blogger floots said...

thank you
i too am turning slowly in the compost cycle :)

12/05/2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger mermaid said...

The last stanza was stunning!

12/05/2006 11:55 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

makes me think of the garden i had in the first house i ever owned... and all the things i dreamed would grow there. - beautiful.

12/05/2006 12:14 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

ahhh...nature's magic!

12/05/2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger getzapped said...

Gorgeously musty. Love the photo!

12/05/2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger Bitterroot said...

I so enjoy the way you experiment (so successfully) with all these different forms.

12/05/2006 7:41 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

This is good!

12/06/2006 7:08 AM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Beautiful, if leaves dream I'm sure they dream like this

12/06/2006 10:23 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Corey, lunch with you would be a treat!

Marja-Leena, may the dark winter enrich your compost!

Pauline, perhaps you'll write your own poem about the dreams of leaves...

Polona, everything in its season. Thanks!

Charlie, I think I'm glad you didn't tell me you hate poems!

Michelle, thanks for your rhyme-making! ;-)

Snowsparkle, thanks!

Mary, oh good, because it's a wonderful, sweet earthy sort of smell. I'm glad it came across.

Pat, yes, your poem gets at many of the same things, but in a completely different way. Thanks!

Robin Andrea, one never knows what volunteers may sprout. I've had curious and spontaneous hybrids appear!

Endment, compost turns itself into beauty!

Becca, you get that from a poem about compost because you read well! Thank you!

Hajera, thank you so much!

Fred, I'm pleased you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading!

Floots, my friend, we all are!

Mermaid, thank you. That's where the ordinariness of the poem was leading.

Amy, thanks! Now you've got me thinking of all the compost piles I've loved. ;-)

Sky, it is magical.

Getzapped, welcome and thanks for commenting. I enjoyed your choice of words! The photo I took earlier this fall.

Bitterroot, much appreciated, thank you.

Gautami, thanks!

Sue, thank you.

12/07/2006 11:08 AM  

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