Monday, April 20, 2020

npm2020: poetry videos day 20 "Cauldron Full of Compost"

My National Poetry Month Project 2020 is to record a short video each day in April, presenting my published poems to poetry lovers of all ages.

Today's poem is the first in a series for Earth Week. It's the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, and I'll be sharing some poems like this one, with some extra-earthy themes.  Also possibly my longest poem...

Cauldron Full of Compost I’m raking for dollars when I find it— my red kindergarten lunch box, buried deep under leaves and tangled ivy between the playhouse and the herb garden. I guess plastic really does last forever. I fixed a lot of food in this lunch box: boiled summer cauldrons full of onion-grass spaghetti, mixed pans of mudluscious spring brownies, scooped great heaping mountains of snow cream sprinkled with sugar, garnished with icicles. And once, on Uncle Mark’s birthday, I filled it with oozing mulberries and tiny wild strawberries tossed with encourage-mint. Everyone ate that for real. Who knows what I last cooked in here? Now nature’s doing the brewing: a dark sludgy soup, a decomposing mess of dead plants laced with worms. A few of the leaves are new enough— I can tell which are walnut, tulip, maple— But most have moldered here so long they’re part of the primeval stew. I stir it with a wooden spoon gone greenish with moss, drag up a dripping clump, spread it wetly at the foot of the maple, richer and thicker than syrup. With this dead soup I feed the tree.

1 comment:

  1. So many wonderful words and images in this poem, Heidi! I especially love the "mudluscious spring brownies" and the "encourage-mint!"


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