NaPoWriMo – Day 5

Each day for the month of April, the Cedar Bark Poets are writing a poem a day in celebration of NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing month. Poems are posted here daily. Let Katheren know if you would like to participate!

“April is a time for planting things (at least where I am, in Washington DC – you may still be waiting for spring, or well into some other season!) At any rate, I’ve recently been paging through seed catalogs, many of which feature “heirloom” seeds with fabulous names. Consider the “Old Ivory Egg” tomato, the “Ozark Razorback” or “Fast Lady” cow-pea, “Neal’s Paymaster” dent corn, or the “Tongues of Fire” bush bean. Today, I challenge you to spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities. To help you out, here are links to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Baker Creek Seed Company. Also, here’s a hint – tomatoes seem to be prime territory for elaborate names. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find something to plant in your garden! Happy writing!”


Ali Baba Watermelon

Asalamaliekum
My dear seeds
I have prayed for a bountiful season
Fajr has come and gone
Now I reap and sow Allah’s earthly soil

Your roots run deep
Which shows through vigorous vines
As I see your oblong shape
Your ripeness is fast approaching
The sun cannot harm you, for you are protected

Once harvest approaches
My mouth awaits your savoury taste
Bismillahi
Your sweet red flesh is as red as human blood One bite Ahumdeallah

Allah has shared you with me
Now I shall do the same
Others in this world must experience
Your sweet bliss

Inshallah to your future generations
May they be as sweet as you
For your 100 days wait is worth it
Patience fellow gardeners
Inshallah, Ali Baba Watermelon will come

Ahumdeallah!
Asalamaliekum to the heirloom Ali Baba seeds

– Rhiannon


Red Ripper Cowpea

Overflowing
Blood Red Ripper seeds
RIP the hell out of any breeds
Ripping big and Ripping Red
Ripping past any other in its bed,
Strong vines to produce a kick ass taste Red Ripper Cowpeas enjoy the hot sun where they lay and baste In a short time you will have your treat Easy harvest and easy to eat.

– Jonah


Woodland Joy

Having many different names
Pom Pom and Bearded Hedgehog
I thrive out from logs
Kind of exotic is my game

Look also for Monkey’s Face
Ohh..Lions Mane you’ve got to taste
I like Oak, Walnut, Maple
Find me then set the table

People think I come from the sea
Firm and kinda more chewy
I am a spore,I am a spawn
Virginia forests is where I’m from

So bring me into your home
I look like a scallop shell
Not a veg that likes to roam
I’m a mushroom, shhh don’t tell!!

– Kath


Tomato Overload , I just want a tomato sandwich from my Garden

It rained, again… still,.. harder.., wait, periods of cloudy, what was this just a shower?, intensifying by noon… I just looked out at the sky

So I decided to stay indoors where it was dry
Away from where the bad weather would lie. A black clouded horizon, darkly imbued, and seeming rain clouds I could not seemingly be likely to elude, and the inevitable dropping drops on a steaming paved black path as they drifted by.

It had been sunny out, till the moment I went to work in the yard, then came clouds stout. So rather then just sit there doing nothing, or bitterly pout, I got the seed catalogs out.

In homage to the hardy pioneers and farmers that would have just pulled on a yellow rain slicker and shiny black boots and gone out, to get the work done, as rivulets into rain feed streams did run, I turned, with my only semi-green thumb back, to the heirloom tomato pages in the back, to try and get my seeding order done

‘all open pollinated, no-GMO’, yes this seemed the best way to go, ‘untreated,natural heirloom seed’ this seemed exactly what I’d need.

but there was one small problem, that I couldn’t work out in my noggin, and I suddenly realized why this catalog I’d picked up and been around town slogging was so very thick.
I had gotten it in hopes of finding something to plant in the low corners of my garden where it was bogging, but in crossing, the weight of the catalogs I think causing my feet further down to be bogging

Now, page after page, names of all the plants that had been, were, or were coming back, to be all the rage

staked, or in a cage, but there were so very many of them listed down the page
on page, on page…

I wished I’d had advice more sage, on which tomato would do best in my boggy garden strip, to show centre stage
how was one to know if ‘Dr. Wyche’s Yellow’ was what I’d need, should the doctor go in indeed?

So I got in my head, they idea that maybe they go together better as read, so I started looking for two names I liked in a row, one after the other as listed in the catalog into my garden to go, surly that would make them together better to grow?

So across the Heirloom / Heritage Tomatoes section for pairs or runs of names fanciful, or that off the page seemed to glow, in search of what to sow I did whole heartedly go, if that was going to work or not I must say I really did not really know.

’42 Days’ followed by ‘Acadian Cherry’ didn’t together seemed to me to flow so I moved on down a list that was quite rather long,
For the list of names, both whimsical and strong at length went on and on.

Banana Legs
Bear Claw
Beaverlodge Slicer
Bison
Break O’ Day

While some interestingly Canadian seeming, they didn’t really to me lead to tomato dreaming

Costoluto Genovese
Crimson Cushion

my finger moved downward on

Droplet
Druzba
Estler’s Mortgage Lifter

now there were some names, but none said ‘Tomato sandwich’ to me so they were gone

Farthest North
Ferris Wheel

sounded to me more like titles to a song, and I had an odd idea that they might spread far and long

Gogosha
Gold Medal
Gold medal sounded good,..
but gosh! Gogosha?? I wasn’t sure I should

Golden Oxheart
Golden Bison

no, Oxheart I feared would turn me off my lunch, Bison brought up images of gamey tomatoes, at least I had an unfounded hunch

Hartman’s Yellow Gooseberry
Henderson’s Wins All
hmm, ‘Wins All’, was good, but the other seems too small

Jaune Flamee
Jumbo Jim Orange

Kalinka
Kellogg’s Breakfast
all these exciting names, but would they make good tomato strains, I just didn’t know which way to go, my mind in pondering strained

Lumpy Red
Lutescent

Montreal Tasty
Morden Yellow

Mountain Princess
Mule Team
Mystery Keeper

I paused on ‘Mule team’ for a moment, but none of them in my mind seemed to whole cement
and Lumpy red sounded a little bent, and ‘lutescent’ too much like a name of somewhere to live you would rent

New Big Dwarf
New Zealand Pear
‘New big dwarf’ seemed too contradictory to me, as really did a tomato named pear you see

Petit Moineau
Picardy
Pink Budenovka
Pink Ping Pong
Pink Thai Egg
Pink Peach

Ping pong balls, eggs and a peach, were not what I wanted to for a lunch sandwich to reach
I was trying to find a tomato here! To find one I liked whom would I have to beseech

Prue
Puck
Purple Calabash
didn’t say tomato things to me, so down the column my finger did dash

Red Belly
Red Fig
Redhead
at least at last, the colour was now correct,
but still tomato to me, they still did not quite correctly inflect

Starfire
Stick
Stone
Striped Cavern
Stupice
Sugar Lump
Sweet Yellow Cherry
Sylvan Guame

I was parsing thorough the last page, what, oh what was I going to plant in my tomato cage

White Beauty
White Currant
White Potato Leaf
White Wax
White Zebra
Wonderlight
Woodle Orange

I had checked, to make sure I was still on the tomato page, as the names did not reflect

Zapotec Pleated
Zarnitsa

the last of the list, oh heck! what was I going to order, I may have to my compost pile go to genuflect
for an answer to reflect, or find another catalog to inspect.

the season would be over, before I had even pick out my seed indeed! But luckily for me the the rain had started to recede, so rather then having to pick one I could just go out and weed,

Yet I was determinant to first finish this task indeed
as through more pages did I read about available tomato seeds
to figure out exactly what I would or should need

I made myself a short list
of tomatoes I hoped to eat this season, slightly sun kissed.

Charlie’s Red Staker, Centennial Rocket, Crimson Cushion, Cup Of Moldava, Caspian Pink, Calabacito Rojo
what if anything these names meant I didn’t know
but this was the short list with which I had decided to go

because I only had space for just so many a row
I just had to pick just two types or so to sow
and I must do it soon I did know
before I didn’t have enough time, to fruit grow
as It was a fruit not a vegetable, that was one of the few things about tomatoes I did know that I could about crow
through my list one last time I did mow

I picked ‘Charlie’s Red Staker’ & ‘Centennial Rocket ‘as they were bread in Canada like me
and why not I though get three

so I went with ‘Crimson Cushion’ as it was said to be best by people the know, better then the rest, for slicing on a tomato sandwich so in that one too I had decided to invest

my seeds would dutifully come in the mail soon, hopefully with no signs of duress or distress
For now I just had to get out there to my future tomato bed and of competing weeds divest

Fresh tomato sandwiches from my garden were going to be the best!
I just had now to decide if I wanted white bread, sourdough or whole grain for my delicious tomato sandwich, … but that could wait until after I’d gotten some rest.

-W.B.

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