Poetry and Gardening

Musings from the days of a creative writer/gardener with a true appreciation for nature, meditation, and poetry.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring Rain: May Flowers

Before I left for work this morning, I went out onto the porch to check to see if the hanging baskets needed watering, and it was sprinkling softly:  that fine light mist that the flowers love.  If they could have spoken, my pansies would have simply sighed . . . ahhhhh.  They lifted their maroon and pink heads out of their baskets, their faces open and welcoming, more live than I've seen them in the past couple of weeks.  "We needed this!" they were crying.  Instead of watering them with tap water, I moved the Gerbera Daisy, the pots of pansies, and the hosta that I need to repot and placed them all in rows on the stairs where they could get a thirst-quencher.

On the way out of the drive, the basket hanging on the mailbox called to me.  It's still growing, still reaching for the peak as springtime flowers do, and I know it'll be a short time before I'll have to replace the pansies with something that can endure the hot North Carolina sun, so I took a picture of it for today's post.

All morning, the rain has been falling here on campus, creating dark black and mossy green trunks on the trees, defining them with a "weather pen" so they stand out against the new light green growth and the darker underbellies of the shrubs beyond them.  The old oaks that grace our courtyard are stately and strong, home to hundreds of squirrels and robins (whose nests must be barren most of the time since the squirrels are robber barons of the gardening world). 

Last night, when I walked through the courtyard to my car, one of the fat groundhogs who live in the field behind our buildings brazenly scuffled through the low, ground-covering that banks one of the curved areas near the science building.  Several of us spotted him, tubby brown belly and perfectly oval head, standing almost straight up, sniffing the air as if deciding where supper might best be found.  I sensed a little fear in the humans around me, because the groundhog stood almost three feet tall, but no fear from him at all.  The moment reminded me of a poem by Christopher Marlowe.  I have no idea why.  But that's what I'll share with you today.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove

That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,

Woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,

By shallow rivers to whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses

And a thousand fragrant posies,

A cap of flowers, and a kirtle

Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool

Which from our pretty lambs we pull;

Fair lined slippers for the cold,

With buckles of th purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,

With coral clasps and amber studs:

And if these pleasures may thee move,

Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing

For thy delight each May morning:

If these delights thy mind may move,

Then live with me and be my love.