Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 15: Crying in the Face of Rain

Today's prompt should have been titled, crying in the face of taxes!  But rain it is and after finishing my taxes today (GULP!) I dove into the prompt.  This morning my friend Martha Wade mentioned to me that she remembered how the fog really held onto the scent of flowers and seemed to intensify those scents.  I couldn't agree more.  Here where it is often foggy, one smells not only the sea, but also the smell of the lavender and rosemary plants the cover the hillside, or the earthy smell of redwood or tang of bay.  For the past few days I've been wanting to write about Luther Burbank's experimental garden which is located just up the road from my house in Sebastopol.  It's a lovely place where you can walk the paths and see some of Burbank's original trees and plants.  At the back is the Mother Tree.  The fruit tree where are graphs were tested.  This draft incorporates that tree and Burbank's gardens:

In the Face of Rain

A low fog will gather the aromas

of lavender, rosemary, whatever
lies blooming in its path. Whoever walks
by smells the specific potpourri of
place: sea and salt mingling with what grows.

When Luther Burbank arrived he declared
Sonoma County nature’s chosen spot
He sold the rights to the first Idaho
potato to fund his long journey out. But,
once arrived success took to the soil.

Visitors to his Experimental
Farm in Sebastopol weren’t encouraged
(due to threats of thievery). But Shasta daises
still grinned big toothy grins at the front gate.
And rows and rows of plants and trees glistened
still coated in rain in the morning sun.

Toward back, near Pleasant Hill cemetery
the Mother Tree loomed full and large, always
bearing fruit, always bearing another
graft or possibility. Under brace
her branches seem threatened even in
a light rain. Her arms extending over
the fence as if beckoning ghosts back from
the earth, back from the fog as it burns off
leaving only the potpourri of plants
some known, some yet to be dancing in the air.

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