Monday, May 7, 2012

Please don't mind the mess


A series of clamps raises a table lamp to better height
for larger projects.
Why buy a new lamp?

A recently purchased geranium
circa 2005
 flourishes at 517 in full sun
and throws blossoms
several at a time
& is happy;

(headless banjo strummer
- a whirligig  made from
my grandmother's cake pans -
has had his head replaced
after blowing down in a windstorm)

Same geranium
in confinement at Odd Fellows
sits is same sprinkling can
 on loft landing beneath a skylight,
finds conditions just not the same
but refuses to cash in

Reaches for what light there is
spreads smaller leaves to expose them
maximally to the light

I admire the plant's will to survive
but consider giving it to son David
to take out to Hy D where 
it would flourish again

How much longer it will be
kept here
I do not know.

(Aforementioned banjo strummer
was driven by a windmill
made of Venetian blind slats
and such fragiler things furnish 
the Odd Fellows hall)



The healthy plant outgrows its pot
the way a healthy child outgrows its clothes.
Don't let it suffer constriction. Spread the Sports
or Business section of the New York Times
on the dining room table. Find a clay pot
big enough for fresh growth. In the bottom
place pebbles and shards from a broken pot for drainage.
Add handfuls of moist black potting soil,
digging your hands deep in the bag, rooting
so the soil gets under your fingernails.
Using a small spade or butter knife,
ease the plant out of its old pot with extreme
care so as not to disturb its wiry roots.

The plant is naked, suspended from your hand
like a newborn, roots and clinging soil
exposed. Treat it gently. Settle it
into the center of the new pot, adding soil
on the sides for support—who isn't shaky,
moving into a new home ? *
Pack more soil around the plant,
tapping it down till you almost reach the rim.
Flounce the leaves as you would a skirt. Then water.
Place the pot back on the shelf in the sunlight.
Gather the Sports section around the spilled soil
and discard. Watch your plant flourish.
You have done a good and necessary deed.

"Repotting" by Lynne Sharon Schwartz, from See You in the Dark. © Curbstone Books, 2012.

*  take note, Brittany Barber