her nascent jewels,
twists the aging vines
and smiles sweet content:
snailseed brilliant in red;
peppervine’s glossy black twining;
purpled lantana, amethyst drupes
for the love of a season soon leaving.
Lovely though the flower of the deep-rooted sedge may be, the plant often becomes invasive. When that happens, it deserves to be dispatched, but its very attractiveness can lead to a certain dithering among those who encounter it on their property. At such times, a variation on the advice offered by Peg Bracken, household management maven of the 1960s, proves helpful. “When in doubt, throw it out,” she liked to say. In the case of the unwelcome sedge, “When in doubt, dig it out,” would work just as well.
Like all good aphorisms, Bracken’s has endured over time and seems infinitely adaptable, even beyond the realm of plant management. I’ve grown fond of my own variation for writing: “When in doubt, leave it out.” It’s not only good editing advice, it’s far less harsh than, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” (more…)
Becoming a varnish worker isn’t difficult. With a vehicle to serve as a combined company headquarters, warehouse, and service fleet, about $200 to invest in sandpaper, varnish, and brushes, and a wardrobe of stylish, second-hand tees, you could start today.
Things will go even more smoothly if you already possess some important personal qualities: infinite patience, a tolerance for frustration, and a sense of humor. The humor’s especially important. It helps to keep things in perspective when fresh varnish is ruined by fog, pollen, wind, rain, insects, or The Yard Crew From Hell: that charming band of brothers given to revving up their leaf blowers just as you’re putting away your brush. (more…)
The metallic drone of cicadas; desiccated and drooping crops; fish sinking toward cooler water even as rising temperatures slow life’s pace for body and mind: such is the arrival of midsummer on the Texas coast.
It’s a season suited for lighter fare, and so I’m offering a small series of images matched with poetry: tokens of a season I love.
Both the photo and haiku are mine.