Thursday, June 04, 2009


There where the punk stump marks
the end of our yard we've strung
chickenwire around a six-by-six
plot of crabgrass In theory
we apply a nice layer of leaves
a layer of leftovers like eggshells and coffee grounds
and then another layer of leaves
ad infinitum or nauseam whichever
comes first In practice of course
we just toss in whatever's at hand:

sawdust and guacamole corncobs
and grass cuttings willy-nilly
in gross disorganization where
they decay and ooze together
like some vegetable Dorian Gray
until in spring and fall we spread it
below allamanda and oleander
camellia and azalea choking the weeds
holding in moisture making
spectacular over-achievers of them all

If only we could mulch our own mistakes
before they harden and stain
dropping the rinds of argument and affair
shells of dead dreams nasty shocks
skins of bad habits lumps of neglect
and sad pride into a pile
that bubbles and burns in the dark
until it's usable and by using
we'd learn for a change
and open and soar like
hollyhocks in a country garden

- Peter Meinke


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