Virginia garden

I wrote this post in the “honeymoon” phase of our time in Arizona. Now that I’ve been here a while, I realize that no matter how enchanting a place may be, you have to get out of the comfortable chair and brave the weather and traffic to be able to enjoy it. Unlike garden plants, we have the power of choice.


Via #January writing prompts

Coexisting in the clay soil of our garden
under the pine are the azalea,
fuchsia yet somehow demure,
and the sprawling nopal cactus
going where the light is,
echoing the shrub’s color
later in its fruit. Edible
in every part yet protected
by its spines, the cactus endures
the days of too much rain
pooling under the pine needles,
the rain its neighbor needs
to thrive. The azalea blooms,
its leaves, nectar and petals
all poisonous, “mad honey”
made from its nectar
causing confusion and
breaking the heart.
They coexist, the poisoner
and the nourisher
in the pine scented soil,
the nopal bristling to protect
its juicy pads and sweet fruit
and the lovely graceful azalea
quietly plotting our doom.

The azalea bush is a beautiful native plant of the east coast that grows well near pine trees. The whole plant is poisonous. The cactus…

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