Friday, September 24, 2010

In The Garden On The Last Night Of Summer

In The Garden On The Last Night Of Summer

A stubborn hot sun is grudgingly giving the day back to the moon. 
It is rising now behind me, full and smiling over my shoulder as I kneel in the black dirt of my new garden.
  Luscious black dirt, on my knees and under my nails, a trace on my forehead, a spot on my cheek. 
Seedlings of cabbages, purple and green - the pious spinach, the happy lettuce - all sit at my feet like a private audience, waiting to hear the story of their lives.  
I tuck tiny seeds into beds of ebony.  So small - mere notions of what they might yet become on the morning they choose to awaken. 
Rustlings are heard in the forest behind me - green eyes, and yellow, observing my work.
A stone statue of Mary watches over us all, her arms outstretched, moss-covered and sincere. 
Kneeling in this spot of tangible promises on this very last night of Summer, I take a deep breath of sweet-scented air, relishing the quiet, hopeful, waiting to see what will happen next. 
Welcoming Autumn back into my life.


Fall Song 
by Mary Oliver

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

Painting above:  Kitchen Garden in Autumn, 1947
  by Stephen Harris


  1. Oh God, I adore that poem. It rises to meet the heart.

    Glad that you are the sort to appreciate the "black earth" and actually grow within it. Peace, X.

  2. Mary Oliver always seems to have the words that express my feelings perfectly...Welcome Autumn!

  3. Such beautiful writing yet again, only seems like yesterday that we were welcoming Autumn 2009 in and now another year has passed !!
    But, welcome it we do, with open arms as we do each season. I love the changing seasons. There is always something beautiful to look forward to in each one. XXXX

  4. Hi,
    Even I wants to have a garden now.


  5. Welcoming Autumn back into my life ~ superb.

  6. "...this spot of tangible promises..."

    Oh, how beautiful! Never have I heard a more touching description of a mere seed!

  7. Beautiful sentiments. And gorgeous picture.

  8. What a lovely poem that is. I am more than happy to welcome autumn in.

  9. It is an exquisite time, this turning of the season into autumn.

  10. Is it autumn already? It feels like summer in Maine. It was 80. We went to the beach after school although only Stella swam. Lovely image and poem.

  11. Very lovely poem. And yes, like Sarah Laurence's part of the world, it was warm here today in Toronto, though the leaves have started to show a change in season.

  12. Thank you for sharing Mary Oliver's poem as we officially enter Autumn. The leaves are just starting to turn here, the nights have been cooler, and there is that certain something that heralds fall in the midwest. I'm ready.

  13. Lovely word picture, Pamela. I have been saying farewell to Summer too, and what a beautiful way to welcome fall with Mary Oliver's poem 'how everything lives, shifting from one bright vision to another, forever in these momentary
    pastures.' - a wonderful way to describe the passing of the seasons and life itself.

  14. Yes, I too welcome Autumn, Pamela. In so many ways it feels like the beginning of the year to me, in spite of the obvious waning of light and life from the world around us. Preparing for sleep.

    Beautiful post, and a stunning poem, thank you!

  15. From the terrace I can see the sun lighting up the fresh snowfall on the Pyrenees. Your thoughts couldn't be more timely or telling.

  16. Beautiful is all that you share
    Love Jeanne

  17. This was very beautiful written..the poem too..

  18. Dear Pamela, Although your beautiful writing has a slightly wistful quality to it, how exciting to be starting on your kitchen garden. There are, I am sure, bound to be disapointments along the way, but, oh, the thrill of picking and lifting your first home grown produce! The season of mellow fruitfulness has arrived!!

  19. Gorgeous. I need gorgeous today. Thanks.

  20. At this end of the world my spring garden is in full bloom. The fragrance of Yesterday Today and Tomorrow is wafting in through the window ..... and I would trade it all for Autumn.

  21. Yes, we also welcome autumn into our lifes! I adore this time of year!
    What beautiful words written in the poem!

    Thank you, Pamela! Enjoy those weeks!

  22. I adore autumn...and you have captured its arrival perfectly with this post. And a real treat to read a M.O. poem that I'd never seen before!

  23. Your words and Mary Oliver's intone such a beautiful welcome greeting for Autumn. Nicely done, Pamela. I'd almost like to think that the stone statue of Mary watching over us all is of Mary Oliver!

  24. Pamela,

    The poetry of autumn and that sky is just brethtaking!

    Art by Karena

  25. I just happened on your blog and I love it! Edward is quite handsome. :) A wonderful weekend to you.


  26. So exciting to be able to look forward to the fruits of your efforts. Thanks for visiting. A red panda would be so appropriate for Autumn but I think Edward might have other ideas!

  27. "...the pious spinach, the happy lettuce...". Such warmth and happiness in your writing. Loved the Mary Oliver poem also.

  28. I love digging in the earth & reaping the rewards of hard work. Such a perfect piece of art for a perfect poem. Wishing you all a lovely fall weekend Pamela. x Deb

  29. Beautiful Pamela...
    I was in the wood yesterday searching for Irish Setter Red amongst the' rich spiced residues: vines, leaves' of your Fall Song. Happy to report I came up with a few and developed a fascination for mushrooms along the way. Your posts always 'bring it all home' for me. One of the things I so enjoy about your writing.

    Best wishes for a wonderful Sunday...
    Jeanne xx


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