from Sandy Needham

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy 2009 from Brazil


I arrived in this seaside garden no gardener.
My skill consists of trimming brown-edged leaves
Grazed by the sand and salt ‘marezia ‘ on the ocean breeze,
Or pummeled by the marezia on the ocean wind
That turns coconut palms ragged.

Depends on the season.

Unsuspecting beauties face the onslaught
Wearing this year’s latest green.
These suffragettes change their withering aspect
when I intervene,
And, first coquettishly, then with burgeoning
Defiance of ‘pot-bound’ become top-heavy matrons.

Brown ferns get hacked in half,
But turn their cheeks with graceful, pointed fronds between
This coif and the next.

Some pruning turns to ruin.
A lush bush - now a scarecrow - once a screen,
Is bemused through each veranda repast
By its own revealing ridicule.

Yellow folds of sun, lacy shadows cling
To chameleon-colored flagstones,
While black hummingbirds, the odd helicopter, ants,
Small yellow butterflies, rain – traverse the scene
Of growth and age.

I am cowed before a stringy naked limb
By the unlikely red hibiscus preening at its end -
That even the iguana spared;
I cut -
The beginning of all faith.



Sandy, Newton, Elise and Jake

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