Nature is a Gardener
Plants are her purest expression,
spending their days eating sunlight and
expelling a dazzling display
Gophers are just tools to plow the earth.
Birds and squirrels sow the seeds.
Deer are nice quiet lawnmowers.
Owls, snakes and ladybugs? Pest control.
Goats do the pruning.
Beavers are merely complex irrigation systems,
and bees... the hardworking genetic engineers.
Everybody does their share of the fertilizing
at one point or another,
but other than that, I have to ask,
“What kind of gardening tool am I?”
soap plant asks in amazement as it pokes its green tuft
of leaves into the sun after its hibernation,
snuggled underground in summer slumber,
in dry paper wrappers with the other wet season bulbs.
There is no reply from his few remaining charred neighbors.
awakened by the first rainfall since April
stretches out its dangly yellow arms,
but not disappointed with the new view of the ocean.
“Wildfire,” yawns rattlesnake,
slithering into a den to sleep away winter:
the mushrooms and mudslides,
the canadian geese calling on their flight path south.
“The light contains all things and all things contain the light,”
call the geese from overhead
as they chase summer southward,
quoting Dogen, I believe.
And here I am, sketching up an echoless canyon among
thinking of how people are like
floating bubbles on a stream,
three-hundred and sixty degree traveling mirrors,
reflecting the world and each other.
arising and popping unexpectedly:
the creek’s eyes.
And it’s fascinating to think of what plants and animals miss
out on in their cycles of dormancy-
napping away entire seasons
blind in their own cocoons.
carefully peeling wrappers from a hard-boiled egg and some
a satisfied bubble enjoying the stream,
I wonder about my own blind spots,
which I quickly decide don’t exist,
since I can’t see them.
“The secret to finding four leaf clovers,” she tells me, “is this-
If you look for them, they disappear,
but if you DON’T look for them,
they DON’T disappear.”
She should know, she finds them all the time.
"I’ve been not looking for them my whole life," I tell her.
“Maybe you haven’t been not looking hard enough.”
“Another way to find them,” she tells me, pitying my misfortune,
“Is to wait until you feel really lucky-
like I just did when that moth let me touch her.
Then, you KNOW one is nearby and you find it.”
I smile at her, so sincere with sunny freckles,
her eyes squinting in the light.
I’m feeling so fortunate
there’s no need to bother even looking down
at the meadow of shamrocks
that must be there now,
sprouting between my toes.
There are few things I enjoy more than hiking with my family with a backpack full of paint and sandwiches, looking for beautiful scenes to interpret. This site is a record of my visual adventures. For information on purchasing paintings, please click the contact link. I price paintings by size and accept cash, check or credit cards.