Archives for posts with tag: vegetables

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How beautiful – 
     Red peppers
            After the autumn gale.
                                                   YOSA BUSON

PHOTO: Len McAlpine, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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THE GARDEN
By Shel Silverstein

Ol’ man Simon, planted a diamond,

Grew hisself a garden the likes of none.

Sprouts all growin’, comin’ up glowin’,

Fruit of jewels all shinin’ in the sun.

Colors of the rainbow,

See the sun and rain grow

Sapphires and rubieson ivory vines,

Grapes of jade, just

Ready for the squeezin’ into green jade wine.

Pure gold corn there,

Blowin’ in the warm air,

Ol’ crow nibblin’ on the amethyst seeds.

In between the diamonds, ol’ man Simon

Crawls about pullin’ out platinum weeds.

Pink pearl berries,

All you can carry,

Put ’em in a bushel and

Haul ’em into town.

Up in the tree there’s

Opal nuts and gold pears—
Hurry quick, grab a stick

And shake some down.

Take a silver tater,

Emerald tomater,

Fresh plump coral melons

Hangin’ in reach.

Ol’ man Simon,

Diggin’ in his diamonds,

Stops and rests and dreams about

One…real…peach.

Illustration:  Georgia Peaches, Vintage Fruit Crate Label Art postcard, available for just 88 cents at zazzle.com.

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A WARM SUMMER IN SAN FRANCISCO 
by Carolyn Miller

Although I watched and waited for it every day,

somehow I missed it, the moment when everything reached 

the peak of ripeness. It wasn’t at the solstice; that was only
the time of the longest light. It was sometime after that, when

the plants had absorbed all that sun, had taken it into themselves

for food and swelled to the height of fullness. It was in July,
in a dizzy blaze of heat and fog, when on some nights
it was too hot to sleep, and the restaurants set half their tables

on the sidewalks; outside the city, down the coast,
the Milky Way floated overhead, and shooting stars

fell from the sky over the ocean. One day the garden

was almost overwhelmed with fruition:
My sweet peas struggled out of the raised bed onto the mulch
of laurel leaves and bark and pods, their brilliantly colored

sunbonnets of rose and stippled pink, magenta and deep purple
pouring out a perfume that was almost oriental. Black-eyed Susans

stared from the flower borders, the orange cherry tomatoes

were sweet as candy, the corn fattened in its swaths of silk,

hummingbirds spiraled by in pairs, the bees gave up

and decided to live in the lavender. At the market,

surrounded by black plums and rosy plums and sugar prunes

and white-fleshed peaches and nectarines, perfumey melons
and mangos, purple figs in green plastic baskets,

clusters of tiny Champagne grapes and piles of red-black cherries

and apricots freckled and streaked with rose, I felt tears

come into my eyes, absurdly, because I knew

that summer had peaked and was already passing

away. I felt very close then to understanding 

the mystery; it seemed to me that I almost knew

what it meant to be alive, as if my life had swelled

to some high moment of response, as if I could

reach out and touch the season, as if I were inside

its body, surrounded by sweet pulp and juice,

shimmering veins and ripened skin.

“A Warm Summer in San Francisco” was first published in Light, Moving (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2009) and is featured in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology (June 2013).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Miller is a poet and painter living in San Francisco. Light, Moving, her most recent book of poetry, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2009, and her first full-length collection, After Cocteau, was published by the same press in 2002. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review, among other journals, and her awards include the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry from Shenandoah, and the Rainmaker Award from Zone 3She is also the author of a number of cookbooks, including Savoring San Francisco.

PAINTING: “Farmers Market 3” (2005) watercolor on paper (20-75 x 14.25 inches) by Manfred Lindenberger (Foster White Gallery, Seattle, fosterwhite.com).