Fertig’s new poems

“Poet, publisher and long-time supporter of the writing community, Salt Spring Island-based Mona Fertig (left) has released her first collection of poems in 14 years.” FULL STORY


#54 Writes of Spring

May 11th, 2016

Hi, darlin’:

April was mostly GRAYpril. We had the sodden sky sitting on the treetops. Rain in its many iterations became a constant. We had drizzle, we had drozzle, we had downpour. We had near-hurricane rain. And between storms and soakings we had absolute glory.  When the weather clears in Tahsis, we head outside to feast our eyes on what has been hidden by fog and mist.

Pink curly lilies have dropped their delicate petals. The stalks stand upright; the little pea-sized seed pods are forming. Bleeding hearts are poking shyly from among the salmonberry bushes. The periwinkle virtually sparkles even on a dull day. Is there a more perfect shade of blue anywhere else in creation?

Wild strawberry plants flaunt their little white blossoms. All the ornamental trees have done their blooming, but to my absolute shock and total puzzlement my pussywillow tree hasn’t made a single kitten this year. I’ve fertilized all around the tree in the hope a good feed will help produce some kittens in the future.

Stephen very kindly came with his wheelbarrow and happy smile and did all of the digging and cleaning of garden beds. The grass had invaded and obviously grown unrestrained all winter. With that taken care of by Stephen, all I need is a supply of seed and some warmer weather for the plans of the lazy gardener to take root.

Chard, kale, mustard greens, some lettuce, some more lettuce, and maybe some other kind of lettuce would be a good addition to the garden. I’m not planting any tommy-toes or cukumberry this year but I might get venturesome and do some squash.

The older I get, the more I learn to let nature take its course, at its own speed.

The young think differently. A few years ago Lilli, my elf, wanted to grow her own “punkin.” With much ceremony and fuss, Grandma helped the not-yet-four-year old get everything ready.

Just to be sure of some measure of success we planted several seeds.

Well, no punkin appeared the following week so Lilli became disinterested in the entire process. Finally, we got some leaves but Lilli didn’t care, she hadn’t planted seeds to get leaves and stems, she had planted seeds so she could have punkins.

Lilli wasn’t impressed when the flowers appeared. And when the punkins began to appear, Lilli was disgusted. They weren’t punkins! They were no bigger than apples!

Grandma urged her to be patient. By Hallowe’en Lilli had her own punkins but unfortunately they were no bigger than soccer balls. Lilli had much better results with the seeds from her apples.

Now there’s a wee apple tree out by the storage shed. It hasn’t produced blossoms or apples, but it has survived.

There’s another apple tree in the storm porch that’s about five feet tall and as big around as a pencil.

Glory be to God for appled things….

Next to it, in its own black plastic pot of dirt, is the avocado she grew. And her orange seed has now become a “tree.”

Now it’s MAYpril. Lilli is growing faster than her trees. And Grandma gets to watch it all.

Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.





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