In the first, I attempt a traditional form called envelope verse, four stanzas of four lines, each having four metrical feet, end-rhyming abba.
Some weeks later, I shaped the same material into organic free verse, a form in which I customarily write.
Good for the brain, and for shaking out some new possibilities in your work.
|Said brother with tomato from 2011 garden.|
February , 2012
My brother, Rafe, is planting lettuce,
the earliest, he says, planting in his
(subtract seven from fifty-eight) years is
fifty years of gardening, a half –century, let us
Say, Rafe is planting our family’s iconic
Lettuce: black-seeded simpson, the old man’s
favorite, Our Father whose winter bibles ran
to Burpee’s, Stark Brothers and Herter’s, ironic--
planting on February 5, what used to be winter --
our family’s iconic variety, a green, the palest of palest
shade of all shall be well again, in the darkest, frailest
of seasons, when even ancient glaciers splinter.
Yes, Rafe ,heir to our father’s gardening passion
is planting lettuce on super bowl sunday, holy day
I do not observe, which arguably canonizes the way
we got to this place where winning trumps compassion.
February 5, 2012
(draft 5 of organic free verse version) Mary Pierce Brosmer
My brother, Rafe, is planting lettuce
the earliest, he says, in his half-century,
counted from trailing our father
in boyhood, gardening.
My brother, Rafe, is planting
our family’s iconic variety
the old man’s favorite,
Our Father whose winter bibles ran
to Burpee, Stark Brothers and Herter.
My brothers, Rafe and Keith,
and I remember the salads
Our Mother made of this lettuce
fragile leaves of palest green
sprinkle of just-pulled onion
splash of oil, douse of vinegar
flavors of all shall be well again
in a Crooksville Pottery bowl.
My brother, Rafe, is planting lettuce on
Super Bowl Sunday, holy day I do not celebrate,
try not to resent others celebrating,
despite all the ways it arguably represents
why Rafe can safely plant lettuce
in North Central Ohio in the middle of winter.
How can global warming not spring
to my fear-doused brain followed by the splash
of how fruitless it is to argue about any of it
(the arguing is itself a distraction),
sprinkle of how much I am warming finally
to the possibility of celebrating every flavor
of my own melting away life on the planet.
I enter the garden of my brother’s joy.
Rafe, planting lettuce on February 5,
2012, year some have argued, of the Apocalypse.