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Magical . . . and Totally Over the Top

Blasting You With Poetry: Week 3

Welcome to another Thursday in April, filled with poetry!

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"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep the spring from coming."
        ---Pablo Neruda

I love watching spring . . . unfold . . . in my garden. It's like a miracle every single day out there! I mean, one minute everything is totally bleak and colorless and cold and bare, and the next? Hellebores are popping up (through the snow, even) to say "hey!" It really is poetry . . . happening right before your eyes.

During the long winter, sometimes it's hard to remember that spring is going to come back again. 
But it does.
Every year!
It gives me hope. It renews my spirit. It fills me with the good stuff again!

Have I ever told you about my larch tree? (Some of you might be more familiar with its other name . . . tamarack.) I bought it at the Master Gardener plant sale one May, many years ago now, to plant next to the little pond Brian and Tom were putting in for me at the time. The little larch was about 18" tall, and I thought it would look very nice next to my new pond. I didn't know much about larches at that point, but I've learned a lot about them since!

Like . . . that they can grow to be over 120 feet tall! 
(And mine is on the way. . . )


You can see it out my living room window there . . .on the left.

Originally, I meant for it to cast a little shade over my pond. I really had no idea it would get as big as it did (is). I also had no idea it would make such a pretty picture out my big window! Guests to our house (y'know . . . back when we had those) always assume I created that space with the pond and the larch on purpose -- to be viewed from my living room. I'd like to take credit, but it was pure serendipity.

Larches are conifers. But they're an unusual kind of conifer: they're deciduous! That means . . . their needles (which are very soft) turn a brilliant gold in the fall, and then fall off. Leaving a very dead-looking tree in the landscape. (Another thing I didn't know when I planted it.)

Here is my (absolutely stunning) larch in the fall . . . 


and here it is, weeks later, when all the needles fall off and it looks like a giant Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

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Every year, about now - and especially that first year, I start to worry about whether or not my larch will come back. It always seems to be so dead-looking for so long. But then . . . overnight (seriously) . . . spring comes again for my larch, and the green needles pop out again! 


(That's looking out my window yesterday morning.)

My larch is a visible reminder for me . . . of new beginnings. Of starting again. Of renewal!
Poetry, I tell you!
It's everywhere in my garden.
For me, nothing brings a sense of beginining again . . . like spring.


A Purification
Wendell Berry

At start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.


Today's poem can be found in New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry, 2012, Counterpoint. For more information about the poet, check out his entry at


I hope you'll stop by and "blast yourself" with more poetry about spring, new beginnings, and renewal today . . . on Bonny's, Kat's, and Sarah's blogs.



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I just adore the slow but steady return of spring. A waking yard/garden is one of the best joys in life! Your Larch tree is just a gorgeous green color! (someone needs to dye up so yarn that color!!)

I love how I did not know this Berry poem! It is beautiful, and the perfect beginning poem!


This poem gave me shivers (the good kind, of course). Your Larch must be such a treat to watch as the seasons pass. I always think that plants are such a miracle in that some of them you think are surely dead and yet come back to life every spring without fail.


I think only Wendell Berry could write a poem so lovely that includes the contents of the outhouse, but it is a wonderful, original, and new-to-me celebration of the old escaping into the newness of spring. Thanks for sharing this engaging choice!


The lifecycle of your larch--poetry in pictures to match WB this morning...


Ahhhhh, Wendell Berry is another writer who has SUCH A WAY with words. Beautiful poem Kym And I love your Larch Tree.


We're moving forward with our relocation to the mountains of western North Carolina and I pinned the picture of your hellebore. Looking forward to the design of my small garden area on our side of Little Bear Wallow.

I also enjoyed the poem. We've been burying our compost here at the rental while waiting to move North. I, of course, am not burying waste from an outhouse, but I do put in paper I'm done with the to balance out the kitchen scraps... :-)

Your larch is beautiful. It's one of the things about the mountains of the PNW that my daughter loved first when she moved out there in the fall of 2018.


Okay, first of all, that hellebore picture is stunning! Your story of your larch tree is wonderful. There was a tree on the edge of the library parking lot that I always used to judge the seasons by, watching it green up every spring and turn blaze orange every fall. Sadly, it was taken down last year to make way for the new police station. Anyway. That poem is perfect, I especially like the bits about not being happy enough and listening to too much noise, and then recognizing that it's possible to move on from that.


What a beautiful post, Larch tree, garden musings, and Wendell Barry. He writes so beautifully.


This is a lovely post, but as a Monty Python fan, I cannot believe that you didn't manage to work in "And now for something completely different ... the Larch."



What a lovely visual reminder, Kym - that tree is one of my favorites (although I think every tree is a favorite this time of year). And I love the Wendell Berry poem. Thank you for another beautiful week of poetry!

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