April is Native Plant Appreciation Month. Since COVID has made it difficult to share the joy we all have for our flora in person, we’ve dug deep and come up with a scintillating alternative: poetry. In the tradition of the great poets like Rumi, Shakespeare, and Dickinson, we propose the high form of the limerick. For those that didn’t take a graduate seminar in advanced verse, the form can be executed by quilling five lines with the following verse meter: The first rhyming couplet sets the stage with seven syllables each, in what are colloquially known as the “A” verses; the second rhyming couplet builds tension by dropping down to just five syllables each, known as the “B” verses; resolution comes in the last verse with a return to the “A” pattern. Proper execution of these rules never fails to elicit gasps for air, tears of joy, and more than likely, yogic enlightenment. Surely the provided example alone is enough to satisfy the simple task of appreciating our flora. Never-the-less, other attempts are encouraged.*
*intended to be read with sarcasm
Rosa gymnocarpa Roses are red they aren’t blue They’ve thorns on their stems it’s true Five petals above… Don’t you see my love That botanists can woo too. by T. Abe Lloyd
Submit poems by April 15th to arcadianabe[at]yahoo[dot]com to be posted on this website. Multiple submissions welcome! Even if you don’t write a poem, please read. The author of the highest rated poem will receive a $50 gift certificate to our Chapter’s native plant sale.
The winner will be selected by ranked choice voting. Please send the titles of your favorite three poems (1 being your very favorite, 2 your second, and 3 your third favorite) to arcadianabe[at]yahoo[dot]com by April 20th.
Congratulations to Rosalind Spitzer! Her Skunk Cabbage Limerick received the most votes. Thanks for all delightful submission.
Skunk Cabbage Yellow spears foretelling Spring, In a bog, it sprouts this thing, Fetid and funky, Squalid and skunky, Fetching flies with phallic bling. by Rosalind Spitzer
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Nurseries grow these plants to sell ‘Cause they cover the ground so well But whether in Latin it’s written or in Coast Salish as spoken it’s exceedingly hard to spell! by Steve Tuckerman
Geranium robertianum This Bob is very easy to key His flower is pink, you see. And when bruised by a boot and pulled up by the root its odor is decidedly stinky. by Steve Tuckerman
Zen Garden Now we need not blow or mow Our garden of moss, it's so. But with all that moss, I am now the boss Of unwanted grass that grows. by Lita Breiwick
My Garden Yes, my garden is in need. Things have, they say, gone to seed. Native plants could grow So lovely, I know. My best flower now's a weed! by Diane Bateman
Scintillate this Latin names are a’changing Must learn this rearranging But one thing remains And helps keep me sane The blooms remain engaging by Lyle Anderson
Bunchberry Dogwood Spring Sun transforms this cold wet spring Evening frogs, romancing, sing Cornus leaves appear (Hope no deer are near) H'rah! What joy this rebirth brings! by Kim Clarkin
Ponderosa Pine My branches sway in the breeze their tips have needles in threes my roots go down deep, it’s water they seek so I can grow where I please! by Ellen Kuhlmann
Hairy Manzanita Fuzzy leaves we often see But ironic it may be That these gnarly shrubs With those hairy stubs Would live on balds by the sea. by Jennie Tuckerman