I think this poem is about a dream. Do you think so? I wish a few of my dreams might have been transformed into such lush stories, thereby preserved as memories of the occasional nocturnal fantasies that are not best forgotten.
My father said I could not do it,
but all night I picked the peaches.
The orchard was still, the canals ran steadily.
I was a girl then, my chest its own walled garden.
How many ladders to gather an orchard?
I had only one and a long patience with lit hands
and the looking of the stars which moved right through me
the way the water moved through the canals with a voice
that seemed to speak of this moonless gathering
and those who had gathered before me.
I put the peaches in the pond’s cold water,
all night up the ladder and down, all night my hands
twisting fruit as if I were entering a thousand doors,
all night my back a straight road to the sky.
And then out of its own goodness, out
of the far fields of the stars, the morning came,
and inside me was the stillness a bell possesses
just after it has been rung, before the metal
begins to long again for the clapper’s stroke.
The light came over the orchard.
The canals were silver and then were not.
and the pond was–I could see as I laid
the last peach in the water–full of fish and eyes.
~Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Update: I love how M.K. responded by “thrashing” the poem on her blog.
The heavy and late rains that fell 2016-17
watered the Queen Anne’s Lace into a bumper crop.
It’s not as though this wildflower Daucus carota needs much water.
Even in drought years it faithfully decorates
the roadsides and paths all over northern California,
and of course many other places where I don’t happen to see it.
All of my photos here come from the paths near my house,
where I walk once or twice almost every day,
past these swaths of what I read is also called Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest,
and Bishop’s Lace, though I’ve never heard those names in person.
One warm evening I began to notice that the flowers were giving off a scent
like cake coming out of the oven.
More recently, they evoke corn tortillas hot off the griddle.
When I encounter another walker who shows the slightest sign of being willing to talk,
I tell them to get a whiff of what my flower friends are offering for sustenance.
I never noticed these scents in the past,
when I had fewer blooms to focus on, more visually.
But this is a festal year for lacy Anne blooms,
and I happily look forward to several more months
of sensory overload.
If you breathe really deeply and concentrate hard…
can you smell them, too?
We need not bid, for cloistered cell,
Our neighbor and our work farewell,
Nor strive to wind ourselves too high
For sinful man beneath the sky:
The trivial round, the common task,
Would furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves; a road
To bring us, daily, nearer God.
-John Keble, from The Christian Year: Morning, 1827