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  • April 3rd, 2009 | 4:15 PM
National Poetry Month - Haiku #3 Concrete

I started thinking about what the yard looked like before we tore it all apart. It looked like, well, nothing you would call pretty. To start with there was concrete EVERYWHERE. The neighbors laughed at me when I told them we would remove the concrete strip next to the street. "Nothing will grow there," they said. "We've lived here for 50 years. Nothing will grow."

And I shrugged my shoulders and told them I had to try. And if I failed they would have a new story to tell about that crazy garden lady. Today I looked at what used to  be the concrete strip between the street and the sidewalk and I have Ceanothus in bloom, Bee's Bliss sage and Lupines. The Cleveland Sage is full of buds and just waiting for its turn. The native Fuschia's are gearing up too and I'm sure the hummingbirds are watching for those first red blooms.

The first thought that came to was concrete jungle but that was cliche and it really wasn't true. What we had was a variety of concrete and aggregate, like little streams leading to the street.

concrete rivers

And what did they do? They hid things. They hid the dirt from me. They hid the dirt from the sun and the rain. They hid the seeds buried deep over many years under a sterile 6" deep river of cement.

concrete rivers hide

It was the dirt I was thinking about now. About how, when we finally did remove the cement, there were piles and piles of dirt everywhere and the guy with the tractor wanted to take it away. "It's just clay," he said. "It's no good for growing things." Oh how wrong he was. Clay is rich in nutrients and holds the water well. Perfect environment for my native plant garden.

rich clay
soil seeds sun
rich clay waits for seeds and sun
feed me
hungers for the sun
rich clay soil hungers for the sun
needs sun and seeds and then
rich clay soil waits for seeds and sun
hungering, slumbering dirt
hungering, slumbering soil
hungering, slumbering clay

hungering, slumbering clay

I knew it was there - a beautiful garden - just like a sleeping princess, waiting for me to wake it up and bring it to life.

sleep sleepy sun  sleepy garden
under garden garden under wake up
gardens beneath the sea
let sleeping gardens wake
where sleeping gardens wait

sleeping gardens wait


concrete rivers hide
hungering, slumbering clay
sleeping gardens wait

--- Susan Taylor Brown
      April 3, 2009


@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2009

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 14 comments — Leave comment )
April 3rd, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
I love seeing your process. Very different than mine! If I can even call that a process! :)
May 1st, 2009 07:35 am (UTC)
How did I miss responding here? Grrr....bad blogging Susan.

Thank you.
April 4th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
I LOVE that, Susan. Thanks for sharing.
May 1st, 2009 07:35 am (UTC)
How did I miss responding here? Grrr....bad blogging Susan.

Thank you.
April 4th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
Perfection. Way to beat the concrete, Susan.
April 4th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
This is soooo revealing. I love the poem and I really, really, really love the process....
May 1st, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
I am finding that I missed some responses. I'm so sorry. Thanks for reading. I wish I had been able to keep up the process all the way but sometimes it was so rushed that I had no process.
April 4th, 2009 08:09 am (UTC)
Haiku etc
I am so enjoying this. It is empowering. I feel privileged to share another writer's process.
April 4th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
Re: Haiku etc
Drat! That anonymous comment above was Book Chook but I am not used to the Live Journal format.
May 1st, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
Re: Haiku etc
How did I miss responding here? Grrr....bad blogging Susan.

Thank you.
April 4th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
Concrete from Dee
No google id to sign in so my name is in the subject :)
I love this - insight into what you were thinking as you arrived at the final poem! Thank you, thank you!
May 1st, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
Re: Concrete from Dee
Dee? As in Kirkhouse? If so, lovely to see you here. Thank you.

April 4th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
Wow. Lovely, Susan.
May 1st, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
How did I miss responding here? Grrr....bad blogging Susan.

Thank you, Cindy.
( 14 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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