Spring Greenery, White Lace


I once aimed for a perfect lawn, 

Perfectly trimmed trees, a perfect yard.


I lost that battle. The critters won.

Once we had a yard full of dogs,


There was Gretchen and Greta,

Govinda and Killer, Black Dog and Mick,


They kept the wildlife at bay. Now, ha!,

Half a score of deer stand in the garden


Munching on vinca, stand on the deck

Savoring the ivy, every last leaf,


Eat each blade of spring grass 

As it arises, and all I can do is watch.


As for moles and armadillos, they work

In the dark of the earth, and the dark


Of the night, silently—spades of stealth,

I find their mounds and craters come morning.


I sigh, and I try to accept with grace

My defeat, and wonder on nature,


And the nature of perfection, and wonder

If it is meant to be known.


Still, the phoebes return each year

To build their nest under the eaves,


An act which is noble, which fills my heart

With joy, and still the redbuds bloom


And the dogwoods flower and the cherries

And serviceberries show white lace.


And still I admire the plover's

Broken-wing feint and the otter's return,


The peeper's awakening, the blackbird's

Watery trill, the sibilance of spring's breeze


Through bare branches, the plod 

Of the roused terrapin, the flight of geese


And their accompanying pronouncements,

The glide path of the wood-duck


Toward the pond's newly ice-freed surface, 

The prairie song of the meadow lark,


The insistence of the whip-poor-will,

The vulture's dihedral grace,


The hawk and eagle's out-spread wings,

The bobcat's scream, the coyote's yip and howl,


The black snake's coil and my recoil, 

The housefly, the midge, the Japanese beetle, 


The rue, the violet, the bluet,

The last snow, the first fawn.


My quest for perfection may be in vain,

I carry a of sense of being mocked


For my landscaping effort, an effort

Which I rejoin every spring.


But I am learning, slowly. A lifetime

May be enough, it may not.


The lessons are there, before me, 

And obvious, it only takes a new vantage to see.


Perfection may be elusive or a chimera,

Or it may be right before my eyes.







Poetry by jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 76 times
Written on 2022-04-17 at 21:38

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D G Moody The PoetBay support member heart!
I liked the way you have upturned your human wish for perfection, by instead giving me, the reader, an account of the myriad perfections in nature all around you. And excellent poem Jim.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
My wife would vehemently disagree, but I believe that the latter is true.