issue 24 > light verse > clements
Out Backby Wiley Clements
I planted this vegetable garden for household use. My rows
run straight on, from fence to fence in lines of garden prose,
no irregular bends or breaks. In honor of Wm. B. Yeats I set
nine bean rows out, but that is the only tribute verse will get
inside these bounds of cedar wood and common poultry net.
As forthe world outside, I don't care whether in form or free,
poets.sculptors, landscape architects, whatever they may be,
practice their crafts. Next door, for example, a hedge
of blooming hawthorn rambles drunkenly down to the river's edge,
and random plots of, I suppose, bluebells and forget-me-nots
bloom here and there about two sculptured iron pots
cast by my neighbor, Grozny, a former professor of sculpture I hear,
professor of necromancy more likely I fear.
Those pots are weird. Whatever he plants in them grows
into something related but different, an apple into a rose,
pebbles into statuettes. Now they're filled to the brim
with greenish soil, probably cursed. I noticed him
yesterday, carrying two gladstone bags, getting into the hearse
he keeps instead of a proper car. He drove in reverse
clear down the block and out of sight. He's gone, I'd say,
to visit his ancient mother. If so, he'll be away
a week at least. When he left I went over and buried
ln each of those pots a dozen scraps of paper, then hurried
back through my garden gate, thinking if Grozny returns,
having forgotten something, and sees me disturbing his urns,
he'll call the cops and the mayor, trying to get me arrested
for trespass or stealing something of his, although he's detested
so much in our little town, he might not get any attention.
Oh yes---before I let you go, I wanted to mention
that what I put in those pots, both of which are wide
of mouth and deep enough to grow a tree,
were poems torn from my copies of the magazine, Poetry,
with authors unidentified,
Those were my seeds.
If I'm right in my choices, when Grozny comes home next week he'll see
one of his precious vessels overgrown in thistles and weeds,
and the other one crowned with blossoms of golden sonnetry.