Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Poem by John Kross

Observations in a Fall Garden

This year's winner is portulaca.
She has overrun the competition.
I pronounce her pour-chew-laka,
as if her presence isn't already
pronounced enough.

A watery weed in disguise,
she slips beneath a bed of color
when the sun comes out.
Hundreds of little umbrellas
protecting her from the heat,
or rather gathering it.
Like those big dishes in
the Arizona desert
that listen to outer space,
she sways and moves toward
the voice of the sun.

Three colors dominate.
Neon pink,
not glow in the dark pink
but glow in the day pink.

a red as red as
"B" horror movie blood,

and lemony yellow.

In the afternoon they hide.
Delicate brushes dipped in color,
their daily quota of light fulfilled.

Those not in direct light
still fight,
open and searching,
leaning and bending toward
leftover patches of day . . .

I see on standing alone,
upright and outstretched,
tall and wiry.
A netted wing dragonfly
stops to chat.

The dianthus lie
silent among the portulaca.
Like gored runners at Pamplona
they have been trampled and overrun,
their white garment petals
splattered in red.

The roses fade in the August heat,
tired of continuous expectation
they don't even try anymore.
They will be pruned for their indolence.
In the spring they will have matured,
and will be back to fulfilling expectations.

Near the garage,
the Mexican heather sways
in the intermittent shade of fountain grass.
Running this way and that,
trying to catch a random ray of light
between the blades of tall grass.

In the corner of the yard
the fountain sits bleached and tired,
weathered by a season of sun.

It bubbles in slow motion,

the mossy birds lie down in its flow,
too tired to stand anymore.

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