More Than a Barefoot Farmer


gardener's world 19
gardener's world 19 (Photo credit: Walwyn)

Every night he prepared the soil,

Until his work was done,

Planting potatoes by moonlight,

Pole beans in the sun,

 

When nights were long,

A casual man was he,

Dancing naked down the rows,

Natural as can be,

 

A lonely woman,

From her window perchance,

Saw his organic style,

It was love at first glance.

“Marriage Is a Rose Garden”


English: Sahara rose - Bagatelle Rose Garden (...
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We were arguing while waiting in a long line,

There was a concert we wanted to see,

We were newlyweds and things were wrong,

I blamed you and you blamed me,

I expected home to be the Garden of Eden,

Where I could rule my kingdom every day,

Then I discovered you were a princess,

Used to getting your own way,

Neither of us was ready to give in,

Already our love was wearing thin,

We wondered if our love could be mended,

And if we could still remain friends,

The elderly couple behind us was in love,

We could see it in their eyes,

“Could you give me the secret of love?”

What they shared seemed true and wise,

The man smiled and hugged his wife,

Penny and I learned long ago,

That a marriage is built day by day,

And there was much we each had to know,

Penny taught me warmth and love,

And that friendship is a must,

When others try to tear you apart,

You still have to continue to trust,”

“Love is just the icing on the cake,”

He continued, “Respect is something you need,

If respect and support are missing,

Your marriage is in trouble indeed,

We like to think love is a living plant,

That thrives when tended well,

When it is given the proper nutrients,

It gets stronger as time will tell,”

Penny said, “Marriage is a rose garden,

And often the beauty brings tears,

All the blooms are not yours alone,

They are to be shared for years and years,

Foolish hearts often give up too quick,

Before the garden has a chance to bloom,

They forget that roses thrive best,

When given lots of light and room,

In the first year when new growth appears,

And you’re considering what seeds to sow,

Talk to God about your spouse,

And what the marriage needs to grow,

Give your rose garden tender loving care,

A rose garden blooms profusely when fed,

But don’t forget the most important part,

Prune any part of you that is dead,

Ask yourself the reasons you fell in love,

Challenge each other to revisit them again,

This is one time to dig up the past,

For this time both can win,

With maturity your world will expand a lot,

So be prepared for both to change,

If either was stagnant and did not grow,

Wouldn’t that have been strange?

Marriage is a rose garden,

You have to twist and bend,

When you keep love in sight,

You fall in love again,

There is one secret to ensure success,

To stay married to your best friend,

Think of the good your spouse does each day,

And you’ll fall in love again,

Seek God out for perfect advice,

For patience when troubles brew,

It would be wise to explore your own heart,

Instead of what your spouse should do,

Daily remind yourself you made a great choice,

And found the perfect person for you,

Then falling in love and over again,

Will be easier and easier to do,”

We entered the doors and found our seats,

The music was powerful and loud,

But as we sat there thinking things over,

We realized it’s hard to think in a crowd,

Our hearts were troubled and we left midway,

We found a place where we could walk,

Then in a diner we shared coffee and a slice of pie,

We opened up and had a heart to heart talk,

It was like a flame from friendship grew,

We were connected by our hearts once more,

And in the early hours I fell in love,

And worried what the future had in store,

My wife also had made her choice,

I would always be her man,

Then we decided that a rose garden,

Would keep us focused on a plan,

In the morning when the sun came up,

While the dew was still on the ground,

We planted a single rose bush,

To remind us of the love we found,

Every year we’ll add yet another,

Then share what our hearts have learned,

The garden will fill with bouquets of rose buds,

The rewards our marriage has earned.

I Decided That as a Seed


Tree Silhouettes
Image by John-Morgan via Flickr

Long ago I learned how important,

It was to be like a powerful tree,

As I grew in wisdom and stature,

There were those who relied on me,

 

At first I was merely like a shade,

To protect visitors from the sun,

As I grew wiser I slowly realized,

My branches were for everyone,

 

Then I became a resting spot,

For those who were passing through,

My branches as a social gathering place,

Became important for those who flew,

 

And finally groups came by,

Content that I was safe and secure,

I didn’t charge any to stay,

Because my heart was willing and pure,

 

My roots stretched wide and deep,

Within the clay packed ground,

And all the denizens within the dirt,

Were proud that I was earthen bound,

I had chosen where to place my roots,

I needed a strong unmovable base,

When ferocious storms came through,

I wanted to be ready just in case,

 

Yielding only to the harshest of winds,

Often I was unable to save the nests,

Or protect those who depended on me,

But I still chose to remain and do my best,

 

I didn’t mind being rooted to the ground,

Traveling was something I didn’t need,

I chose to be happy where I was planted,

I decided that as a seed,

 

My visitors and the winds kept me informed,

About the bigger earth around,

But I was as happy as I could be,

Content with the world I’d found,

 

Like a tree I didn’t travel far,

Though my thoughts and wishes flew,

And my dreams and hopes were carried about,

By those who cared and knew,

 

My home has been available to everyone,

My arms have opened wide,

Like a tree I stand with arms upraised,

While my heart beats warmly inside,

 

“Do you mind being anchored to the ground?”

Some people dare to ask,

I smile and say, “I’m like a tree,

I have a bigger task.”

 

 

 

 

Root Systems


A scenic photo taken near Madison, Wisconsin o...
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Late at
night a storm blew through,

Shattering branches and even trees,

I listened
but there was nothing I could do,

For this was
not a common breeze,

Roaring and
howling as it stretched out wide,

The wind
faced me to make a direct hit,

Then it
threatened and heckled me as I hid inside,

A tremendous
crash, then all was quiet,

In the
silence a far off drum pounded,

But it was
only me, my heart answering a mighty tree,

It lay
uprooted, its heart exposed and sad to see,

Roots
stretched out east and west,

Torn from
the trunk in this latest test,

Much longer
than the branches above,

Now ripped
and torn much like my sordid life,

I’ve had root
systems of resentment and strife,

And one of
life’s major storms ripped me apart,

My
bitterness was no longer needed for support,

I could not
use the branches like a fort,

Hiding away
from the world,

Pouting because
there were things I could not get,

My gifts no longer
needed for growth,

I was wasting
away because I wanted my needs met,

My life was no
longer needed and I felt spurned,

My sarcasm
and expectations were ready to be burned,

The storms
of life had won,

My supports
had rotted and torn,

Yet from my
roots I was being reborn,

I realized
then I was more than a tree,

That life still
needed me,

Especially
if I became all I could be,

And released
the roots of bitterness,

And found
the keys to happiness,

I’ve heard healthy
roots in dry soil will not grow,

So my roots
will be where other lives flow,

From their
broken roots new life will begin,

Stronger
than before, I’ll set the trend.

 

 

 

 

Lots and Lots of Magical Trees


This bubble map shows the global distribution ...
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I’ll dig and
plant and grow a shoe tree,

And all the
shoes will be for a poor country,

Where some
of the children don’t have shoes,

And most of
the world doesn’t have a clue,

About what
the children go through,

 

I’ll grow a
tree that has food and drink,

The children
need that, don’t you think?

Bloated
bellies and starvation are rarely understood,

Because the
world doesn’t share what it could,

 

I’ll grow a
tree that is filled with songs,

When children
sing, would that be wrong?

If my voice
blends with theirs all day long,

Singing will
help make hearts strong,

 

I’ll grow a
tree that is filled with money,

To change
their world into a land of milk and honey,

Instead of them
living from day to day,

Trying to
subsist on whatever comes their way,

 

I know one
tree can’t grow enough shoes,

It might
take more than three or two,

And the plant
that grows all kinds of food,

Will have to
be cloned if I could,

You can help
with the tree of songs,

We’ll join
hands and sing all night long,

The tree
with money will have to grow,

Because one
little tree can’t bestow,

Enough to
clothe, shelter, and feed,

Satisfying each
and every need,

My garden
will be large with lots of trees,

I can do
this if you’ll help me please,

If we plant
enough for a country or two,

There’s no
telling what we can do,

A world of
trees, new hopes and dreams,

A world with
compassion, and fewer regimes,

We’ll plant
and sow some magical seeds,

Then climb
up high and see what the world needs.

How Many Seeds in an Apple?


Apples are an all-American success story-each ...
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How many seeds are in an apple?

I can count them one by one,

If I start numbering at the beginning,

It shouldn’t be long before I’m done,

How many good deeds are in a person?

Much harder to tally, it’s true,

Since I can’t see inside your heart,

I’ll leave the reckoning up to you,

When the finite counting is over,

And it’s time for speculation instead,

I want you to go from what you know,

And extrapolate within your head,

How many apples are in a seed,

If that seed is allowed to grow?

Is there some way to predict the number,

Or is it ever possible to know?

What good things will spring forth,

If a good deed is allowed to grow?

Is there some way to predict the number,

Or is it ever possible to know?

What good you do for someone else,

Is more than just one deed,

That good will grow and multiply,

Just like an apple seed.

I’ve Planted Flowers Along the Way


A poster with twelve species of flowers or clu...
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My path has varied from time to time,

The mountains chosen were hard to climb,,

There are tasks I wish I’d done,

And things I wish I’d left undone,

But there were flowers along the way,

And strings of lights as bright as day,

Within the poems I wish I’d said,

The secrets of journeys where my path led, 

 I didn’t go to many faraway lands,

And learn the languages to understand,

But hearts I’ve touched with silver words,

Encouraged the forlorn with things they heard,

There are flowers I’ve planted where I’ve stayed,

And lights that twinkle where I’ve strayed,

 I may have wandered far and wide,

Yet I’ve learned to take life in stride,

I’ve tried to help those I saw in need,

Gave them strength, from bondage freed,

 I’ve planted flowers along the way,

And fastened lights as bright as day,

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring,

Though a twisted past I wouldn’t change a thing,

If you touch others with your words,

Let it resonate with all you’ve heard.

What It Is, It Is…………


Assorted flowers in Park Seed Company Garden
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A friend of mine asked me today,

“What should I do if love has its way?

I don’t know how to keep the flames stirred,

Do you know the answer? Tell me the secret word,”

I studied him intently, “You know my advice is free,

And I’ll tell you the truth even if you disagree,

You’re much like the others who sought me out,

Confused by love but your heart is stout,

If you are ready for my answer I will proceed,

I’ll tell you a short story about a man and his seed,”

He nodded his head and inclined his ear,

Ready for the wisest words he might hear,

“What it is, it is”………………………………………….

He looked at me puzzled, then started to grin,

“You’re trying to confuse me before we begin,”

I shrugged my shoulders and looked him in the eye,

“If you don’t take my answer seriously, I won’t even try,

There are struggles in love as you know well,

If you don’t get it right, it becomes a living hell,

But if you listen carefully to all I have to say,

You’ll find heaven, here on earth, each and every day,”

He motioned for me to share the things I might know,

So I began again, saying the words real slow,

“What it is, it is”……………………

This time he listened without making a sound,

“My example is about a garden and fertile ground,

A man started with good soil, wanting the very best,

The site was prepared, everything passed the test,

He sought opinions as he took extreme care,

He tilled it one more time until soft and fluffy there,

He marked his rows, planted the best of seeds,

Sent water down the rows, enough to meet their needs,

He gave thanks and smiled, now that his work was done,

He was proud, there was good soil, seed, water and sun,

He was ready to relax and take a long trip,”

My friend stirred, “He needs to get a grip,”

“What it is, it is”…………………………………………

He looked at me and silently shook his head,

I didn’t explain, but returned to the story instead,

“The man returned, expecting to harvest his crop,

But there was no moisture left, not even a drop,

The once soft ground was hard, the plants were dry,

Insects had shredded everything, his whole supply,

All that was left was ruined, it didn’t fit his needs,

The ground was covered with hundreds of weeds,

He was upset and he still didn’t understand,

I tried to clarify carefully about gardens and land,

“What it is, it is”………………………………………….

I explained to him and I’ll now tell it to you,

“With gardens and love there are rules few,

Rule number one:  Should I let it go?

Let your inner compulsive child speak soft and low,

If something isn’t very important, don’t let it grow,

Love has a chance to bloom for all your life,

If you strive for peace and love instead of strife,

Rule number two:  Should I fix it?

Choose to listen without harsh words,

Don’t chatter loudly like angry birds,

One cannot fix a problem without the other,

Compromises are necessary or why even bother?

Rule number three:  Should I deal with it?

The first thing to remember is the commitment you made,

When you decided to join, the foundation was laid,

You made a choice to become her lover,

A commitment is a choice made over and over and over,

What some people forget is their garden to tend,

They know where to start but don’t wait for the end,

Within each of us is a garden that will yield much love,

But the garden needs tending with help from above,

Should you be negligent and let it grow wild,

In a short growing season you’ll find nothing worthwhile,

Spending time in your garden is a worthy endeavor,

You have to pay attention if you really mean forever,

You cannot neglect all you have promised to share,

Or her heart will dry up without tender care,

And if there’s too much time you spend away,

It’s possible for her weary heart to stray,

And should you get caught up in evil deeds,

Your love will eventually get choked by weeds,

Love is more than the emotions she holds for you,

It is the patience and kindness that you can do,

With loving care you’ll reap rewards from her heart,

She’ll love you forever from finish to start,

Faithfully protect and cherish to keep love alive,

Do your best for your garden and your love will thrive,”

 “What it is, it is”…………………………………………………………..

Run Where The Flowers Grow


Photo of Cocker Spaniel Ch. Obo II, published ...
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I couldn’t believe my eyes,

Dad had brought home a surprise,

A black and white cocker spaniel,

Just a puppy, but she meant the world to me,

She was happy, playful, and made me smile,

Lady came when I called her, eager to please,

We were two friends, always at ease,

The two of us discovered the world anew,

Bonded by our hearts, our friendship grew,

Sniffing flowers, chasing birds,

I read stories and she listened to every word,

When she was two she followed me down,

 The dirt roads to the grocery store in our town,

We encountered few cars that hot summer day,

 Crossing the two lane county road on our way,

Before I got groceries the owner and I had a debate,

 But he said, “No dogs allowed. She’ll have to wait,”

When I looked for her, she had crossed the street,

Busily sniffing flowers, or looking for bugs to eat,

My first thought was, “She shouldn’t be over there.”

 Without thinking, I whistled, loud and clear,

The shrill sound hanging expectantly in the air,

It was then that I saw a speeding car,

And realized that it wasn’t very far,

At the same time I saw Lady raise her head,

And obediently towards me she sped,

Smiling with every stride,

“Stop, Lady, stop!” I wish I’d cried,

But I was frozen, watching this nightmarish scene,

The car and Lady, the gap closing in between,

There was a loud “Whump!”

Time stopped and I had no need for air,

The car had hit Lady and the driver seemed unaware,

He slowed, then sped up, I knew he didn’t care,

I ran to her and dropped to my knees,

 “Lady, get up! I’m sorry, please,”

But I held a lifeless form tight,

Wishing with all my might,

That this was just a bad dream in the night,

I walked home in a trance,

Angry at myself for what I had done,

“Why did I whistle without a glance?

Why had I done this to my friend?”

Blaming myself over and over again,

 Tears streaming down my face,

Somehow managing to carry her to our place,

Where Mom took the groceries,

Telling me to hold Lady for a few minutes more,

Until I collapsed spiritless on the floor,

The next day a private ceremony with a prayer,

Only family was invited there,

My heart pounded and my head hurt,

And with each shovelful of dirt,

I thought I could hear a whistle blow,

Before I left, I leaned down and whispered softly,

“Run, Lady, run, where the flowers grow.”

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