I'm delighted to welcome to Sister Arts my first guest blogger, poet, photographer and editor Richard Morrison. In this exquisite post, a prose poem with pictures, he introduces the floral and human delights of his Minneapolis garden. Enjoy.
Forget the nearly naked boy next door as he stretches on the front lawn, preparing for his evening run around the lake. He's an easy distraction from pulling up crabgrass. Suddenly it's summer in Minneapolis, ushered in by a week of thunderstorms and high humidity. Bare skin and endless endless peonies.
They've peaked, and demand harvesting, their heads heavy with rainwater, stems bowed over, snapped, hanging from the edge of their wire cages. The twenty-somethings come and go, emerging fresh and eager in their running gear, returning in the twilight, torsos gleaming with sweat. Their appearances are fleeting.
More enduring are the bearded irises, which have finally established themselves in the boulevard. They've lasted for weeks, having prevailed through the first heat wave as well as late-night revelers staggering back to their cars. The last sentinels of spring, but far more sensual than stoic. Their stalks rose from faux-tropical leaves, and reared up heads of yellow, white, and one variety endowed with every possible hue of purple. Elaborate, frilled, furry, they are the epitome of perversity. Their upper petals erect and penetrable, while the lower ones hang down and display their "beards," attempting to lure in pollinators.
Garden flowers are masters of sublimation.
We have a new neighbor in the apartments next door. He's just moved in with his girlfriend, and they're an incredibly sexy pair. Yet when he comes up the sidewalk and finds me fretting over the creeping thyme or wrestling with the garden hose, his eyes and smile are wide, genuine with possibility.
What's different about this year's garden? We've ventured headlong into the cultivation of tomatoes, and now that all the beds are filled -- front and back, north and south -- I've learned the pleasures of digging things back up and rearranging them. But I look forward to nothing more than the return of the dahlias. Distinct and flamboyant is each and every bloom. The first one to arrive goes by the name of "Boom Boom Red."