Poetry isn’t a profession,
it’s a way of life.
It’s an empty basket;
you put your life into it
and make something out of that.
A tisket, a tasket
A green and rosy basket.
The wind blew a thistle’s seed.
On the way to elsewhere.
It blew it,
it blew it,
The seed that made my basket.
(Basket-flower, also called American star thistle, is annual garden and wildflower native to southwestern North America. Resembling a spineless thistle, it has stout branching stems, and when the rose-coloured compact heads of disk flowers appear they are surrounded by fringed bracts, similar in appearance to a woven basket. Their seeds are borne in achene fruits and are wind-dispersed. These thistles are commonly planted in gardens to attract birds and butterflies.) I’d been watching this plant for months as I’d not seen one in my yard before, and so I wasn’t sure at first what it was. Then when it started putting on its baskets I knew it was an American thistle. And since the wind had blown it in, it was almost as if the blessing of blossoms had dropped from above. If you remember the nursery rhyme that started out like the first line of my silly little poem, it should sound more or less the same as the original if you sing along with the words. And I probably should ask Mary Oliver to forgive me for quoting her along with my feeble attempt at such.)
Thus the Lord God showed me, and behold there was a basket of summer fruit (or in my case, a basket thistle). ~Amos 8:1 ✝
Toward seven o’clock every morning,
I leave my study and step out on the bright terrace;
Here my tools lie ready and waiting,
each one an intimate, an ally:
the round basket for weeds, there’s a rake here as well,
at times a mattock and spade,
or two watering cans…and a small hoe…
~Edited and adapted excerpt from a work by Herman Hesse
I have raked the soil and planted the seeds
Now I’ve joined the army that fights the weeds.
For me no flashing saber and sword,
To battle the swiftly marching horde;
With a valiant heart I fight the foe,
My only weapon a trusty hoe.
No martial music to swing me along,
I march to the robin redbreast song.
No stirring anthem of bugle and drum
But the cricket’s chirp and the honey bee’s hum.
No anti-aircraft or siren yell
But there’s Trumpet-creeper and Lily-bell.
With a loving heart and a sturdy hand,
I defend the borders of flower-land;
While high over Larkspur and Leopardsbane,
A butterfly pilots his tiny plane;
But I shall not fear his skillful hand,
My enemy charges only by land.
~Alma B. Eymann
So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. ~Matthew 13:26 ✝