Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Father Was A Gardener

My Father Was A Gardener 

My father was a gardener
He was many things
But my father was a gardner

started with a single Snake plant
in a sunless window
in a tiny Brooklyn apartment
coaxed to vibrancy

Onto small precise pots on glass shelves
in tract housing
spilling in the sun
cacti and violets African

my father was a gardener
at all other times fastidious
hands sunk in loam forearm deep
fingernails espresso ringed
in"not dirt" bathed in "earth containing all"

Parting backyard ground to reveal
shell pink worms cool and fat
Sliding over tickled fingertips

My father was a gardener
finally arrived at dreams' fruitioned
greenhouse and an acre
wild soaring land pine swept

planted each varigated blossom
each new small sapling
pressed into perfectly positioned sunlight

My father was a gardener
he did not belong
in antiseptic sheets 
yearning to grow
He needed sun and rain
and riches of earth

When time finally turned
I smelled only loam
heard only the gentle lift of shovel
pressing him in white shrouded ready body
into the sweet smelling loam
a sacred singular seed

My father was a Gardener
once again
in every rustled
shimmered leaf on summer wind
in each verdant grass blade
of every velvet flower petal
shining in each and every summer
chestnut blossom shower
under crystal snow in winter
In the crimson crunch of leaves in Fall

in all
of all 
for all
my father was a gardener
The earth his canvas, child, lover, mother
creator and created
My father was a gardener
My father is the garden now
And I the tender of it all

Happy Fathers' Day


  1. Lovely, thoughtful tribute, Pearl. Our dads mean a great deal to us, and we love them deeply. This shows in your poem. Bless you.


  2. this verse shimmers with love and tenderness
    connecting threads through years and beyond

  3. I cannot imagine a more endearing word portrait of your Father.

  4. this is lovely, Pearl. such a vivid picture.

  5. This is incredibly lovely. I relate, as I was a gardener too. So happy he finally reached his acre of earth and had the joy of planting those trees. I especially love "My father is the garden now"..."a sacred singular seed"....returned to the earth he loved. Beautiful.

  6. My father was a gardener too -- this one hits home for me. Beautiful tribute, Pearl!

  7. So beautiful, Pearl! Like all the details.
    My father was a farmer with a great affinity for the soil, too. On Father's Day, one of my poems about him was posted on a site, left the link on my FB timeline, if you wish to stop by.
    So glad you shared this poem!:)

  8. Such a generosity of spirit dear Pearl and so brimming with love and greatness this poem, your homage to your Dad ... inspired - especially that "my father is the garden now and I the tender of it all" - so many meanings could shade "tender" for you both ... this brings tears to my eyes and in such a profoundly good way. Your writing just gets better and better.

  9. great poem. I didn't expect to end up where I did.
    I missed it. Sad but in a respectful way. And love