Spring Clean

March 28, 2019.  Spring has announced herself with an abundance of green coming up through dried leftovers of prior green frozen to the ground.  Lots to clean up in the yard!  I tackled the crinum bed alongside driveway a bit at a time to avoid arthritic reaction to the necessary bending, stooping at unusual angles.  This poem emerged from the meditative nature of putting face repeatedly near earth … plus it was Mother’s birthday.  The following day, my email brought me the poem Earth Song – including:

Those who are dead are never gone;
The dead are not down in the earth:
They are in the trembling of the trees

Indeed, Mother was right there with me in the crinums’ upward thrust.


Crinums produce large lily-like blooms – mine are a vivid pink, prolific come June.

I’m unable to find a direct link to Earth Song, Traditional from Senegal.  I received it via Panhala – to subscribe, send a blank email to:




14 thoughts on “Spring Clean

  1. Good poem. Mother would be 101 now. One of the Louisiana irises descended from the ones in her yard opened in mine yesterday, just on time for her birthday.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The advantage she has now is being in multiple places at once – crinums in NW Austin and irises in central Austin. Not to mention numerous presences around Cuero. Perhaps she graces the San Angelo cemetery on occasion, but I have no sense of her residing there.


  2. Her vision of the path and the thought of having a hand in in probably brought pleasure to her. Knowing that you still were able to provide a pleasure is just as valuable, especially now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ken. It’s been 29 years since she departed – I’m now the age she died, coming into a real sense of how aging slowed her body down. Her mind stayed full of ideas, plans, dreams to the end. Fingers crossed I have those same genes in command.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It is a blessing to have the flowers 🌺 that grace both of your gardens. A mother is so very dear.
    Ii am now beyond the age my mother had when she passed. It does make us appreciate our mothers’ tender aging, arthritic and all. Happy gardening. Your poem is fabulous!


    1. Thank you, Helene. I’m so glad I’ve lived long enough to experience conditions that I shrugged off when my parents went through them – so naive when young! Life is a continuous learning – I’m eager to continue. Poetry helps me stay with certain observations, distill them into words, hold them till they “take root”. This poem, an example.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Writing is healing medium. I too was naive when young, did not appreciate the conditions my parents were going through. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Jazz, this is such a lovely poem, the way you weave the current chores with the ones you gave as a gift to your mother and of your mother herself. Just beautiful. I am unfamiliar with crinums; I hope you will post a photo of them in June.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luanne, thank you. Blooms to come … late May hopefully before we leave for our extended travels. The first round of blooms is always the most spectacular. After that burst, they are sporadic based on barometric pressure and moisture – but even w/o blooms, the drooping thick leaves are gorgeous. Green anoles (lizards) love hanging out in the overlapping leaves!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, how bittersweet is hindsight. This is such a beautiful tribute to a mother, Jazz – has me tearing up, I must say. I envy your ability to garden (a skill I never cultivated). I can see how it keeps you close to the rhythms of life, and to your muse. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, VJ. I love plants, landscapes, the critters drawn to them … maybe all the more so from having spent my youth mostly in a desert area devoid of much other than mesquite. Daddy planted portulaca when I was 4 or 5 … and a neighbor had lantana blooming along the sidewalk … both small ordinary flowers, but in contrast to surroundings? SPECTACULAR!

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s