Friday, February 6, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Storm Advisory” by Carolyn Martin

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Storm Advisory” by Carolyn Martin, the winner of the 2015 Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest and the Songs of Eretz Poet of the Week for the week of December 14, 2014.  Additional poems by Dr. Martin and her biography may be found here: and here:

Storm Advisory
Carolyn Martin

A winter storm makes land at dawn.
Surging seas. Valley snow down
to 100 feet. Schools already closed.

Here’s to one more day before brutal snow
shuts my garden down and sends me fireside.
Time, at last, to thaw out tired limbs and doze
without bark slivers in my hands or dirt
beneath my fingernails. I’ve grown weary
of the earth I’ve kneaded daily with intent.
From spring to early frost, perennials
fulfilled their promises and, without pause,
bulbs splashed colors on my plotted beds.
Now I’m done with mudding through autumn rain –
saving diehard blooms, erasing moss and weeds –
exhausted by the beauty I conceived.

And, yet … I’ve come to know myself enough
to know I’ll fret for phlox and bleeding hearts,
for jasmine climbing up the backyard fence;
for hostas, dahlias, daisies, roses, mums;
for everything I’ve grown to love. Before
daylight winds down and solar lights go dark,
I have it in me to push fatigue aside – 
to prune, mulch, rake, appreciate one more
bedding down, one irreparable good-bye.
Then, let smirking clouds cascade from the Coast
and tomorrow’s dawn reap relentless snow.
I’ll design next spring out of winter sleep.

Poet’s Notes:  The temperate Willamette Valley of Oregon has a long growing season. I start to cut our lawn in March and don’t stop until mid-November. By the time the first winter storm appears in December, I am weary of raking leaves, dead-heading the last blooms, and pulling weeds. This poem captures that weariness which is relieved only by devotion to a garden I will miss.

Editor’s Note:  The poet’s use of assonance is just lovely in this one, and I also enjoy the gentle rhythm.  This poem reminds me of one of my grandfather's (believe me, that is a compliment).  I love the topic, too, though fear that only fellow gardeners will appreciate its many nuances.  “Storm Advisory” was originally published in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Vol. V, 2014.

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