Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rhamnus purshiana

It's a scrappy little tree
Remembered for the wrong traits
Regarded as a weed by most
Consigned to humble fates

When in fact it offers much
Which humans find endearing
When it flowers bees invade and buzz
To put all else beyond your hearing

And who would not admit it
Upon consideration
A tree surviving summer's drought
Without the soothing ministration

Of rain that is depended on by
Alder, Fir and Cedar
Who do their growing when
The soil is moist and sweeter

And which of these provides the bees
And birds with such a harvest?
From dry savanna this clever tree
Brings a bounty from it's breast

For when the pollinators
Perform their proscribed duties
Cascara returns the favor by
Producing little black beauties

Then Cedar Waxings come along
Flocking just to gobble
And Band Tailed Pigeons alight
So fat they make the branches wobble

And if you give a goat a chance
To nibble on its leaves,
That goat will clean it out as though
It were a band of thieves

Reasons to admire
This species are thus ample
So when you think you found
A weed please think of this example

It may take time to learn
All the gifts a weed can offer
But let them live and you
May find great value in your coffer

A Mabel At Eleven

She charmed me with enthusiasm
She charmed me with her grace
She charmed me with her doll collection
And dramatic moods swept through her face

She listened to my Neil Young
Enraptured by the Harvest Moon
And when I had to go away
I felt the day was done too soon

This morning on my calendar
Reviewing all the seasons
Wondering at the timings of Camellia
Flowering and the reasons

I noticed that the next time
Cascara leaves unfurl
Ms. Mabel will be twelve
Slightly more or less a girl

Despite the plain reminder
That will stare me in the face
I may continue to be myself
And thoughts and poems can't replace

A birthday present or a wish
At the time when it is due
Each year when the Cascara buds
I'm certain I will fondly think of you

Friday, October 06, 2017

Sugar Maple Burning

The smaller of two sugar maples
Must be jealous of his larger brother
Whose soil stays moist longer
For when I got home
The dramatic yellow and orange
On top of just that one
Made me think
"Self immolation!"