Benjamin Vogts poem Planting reminds us that while we enter the fall season, we can be assured that spring and summer will come again. This poem, an honorable mention in The Rock River Times Poetry and Prose Contest, is lush and deliciously filled with vivid description. I admired the poets knowledge of specific flora, his use of simile, and his richly woven sensory detail.
Benjamin Vogt, a fellow Midwesterner, hails from Lincoln, Neb. Bask in the garden just a few minutes longer before the long descent into autumn with his poem.
By Benjamin Vogt
Humidity has set the mood. A stillness
anticipating the brief evening shower, sudden
intoxication leashed to the earth. We wrestle
roots into dry soil before the cloudbank
shadows sunlight, before the dust turns to mud
and our hands become indecipherable
to this knowledge of flesh and bone, beginning
and end of the aching body. How the Penstemon
settles against the wall like a child
whose arms are folded to a pillow beneath
her head. And how the Coral Bells, with heavy
crimson leaves, pierce the garden air
with stalks of white blooms just larger than
a scattering of early season snowfall.
Already they are peaceful, understood.
And after earth washes from the beds lip
the sidewalk dark with water from the hose
after black containers, shovels, labels
that tell us what will become and for how long,
after fatigue has quickly put it all away,
I realize I have never tasted earth
this deeply, felt its body warmer,
so swiftly placed an afternoon inside of me.
Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called The Writers Garret for this newspaper.
From the Oct. 4-10, 2006, issue