Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Water World and Horticultural Romance

Due to heavy rains over the past two days, my town is surrounded by water, with many of the roads only just passable. The creek that runs through town is flooded past its high banks and has joined the lake formed in the cattle pastures that run alongside it; the water is lapping the bottom of the bridge. The Arkansas River is enormous, too, its muddy waters rising and swift.

My town was flooded two or three years ago, but my neighborhood was spared, thank God. Though a branch of the creek wanders through some of our yards, other branches did not behave so well, sluicing businesses and homes with several inches--and sometimes feet--of muddy, smelly water.

This house was built on a slope, so that the front is near the ground, but the rear foundation is taller to accommodate the decline toward the aforementioned creek branch. Being near all that water is why the lowest portion of my backyard is so lush each summer; it's boggy, too. Even after several days of dry weather and sunshine, the grass can still be too thick and damp to cut without killing the lawnmower.

Reveling in the torrents, the wild onions and the clover are having their way with my yard. Sounds like a tawdry paperback, doesn't it? Maybe one with a muscular young tree bending low over a fainting blousy rose,and with a gleaming trowel nearby in grass so thick and green it can only be growing over a septic tank. Perhaps there is a melodramatic title in florid script--something like The Ravished Rose--or a clinical title like The Joy of Gardening.

What I can promise is something more savage, along the lines of the Mongol hordes sweeping across the steppes and cutting down the opposition. I can see the book cover now: black work gloves across a bright red lawnmower, like the device on a knight's shield, and over it the title in strong letters with a hint of medieval flourish--The Song of Lawn, this tale otherwise being known as the Hand of Brand.

Look on me, weeds, and fear.


The Texican said...


Mown wild onion plants
move me to cook a pot roast
smells urge the action

How high's the water Moma? Six feet high and risin'.


Beautiful poem. Brought a tear to my eye.

No, wait. That was just the onions.