City Poet Country Poet

It’s been a bit of time since I left New York City (evicted, but that’s another story). I left in 2001 for Vallejo, California. That’s when I graduated from living in an apartment to dwelling in a house with a little backyard. I haven’t been back very often since then. But I left California too in 2009, (after hooking up with my husband the master gardener, but that’s another story). Arriving in Greenville, South Carolina, I graduated again. We left a backyard bursting with corn, veggies, fruits and berries, to go to a few acres of land that sustain our family. We put in, we get out. I haven’t just moved. I’ve changed too.

A piece of my pantry September 2019. Pickled peppers, pickles, broth, salsa, tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, jams, chow chow, and twenty gallons of grape juice concentrate. And yeah, people we give eggs to will give us cartons when asked…

Wherever I’ve been I’ve been a writer and spoken word artist, but my perspective about what I do has transformed with my transplantations. Poets like to talk about nature, use nature for metaphors, admire the beauty, mystery and ultimate mastery of nature. But there was a time when this poet was more comfortable at a desk in a room with four walls, and a window from which to observe nature cleanly, safely and comfortably. I didn’t understand back in my apartment living days that my roots were bound in the small pot I was living in.

The deep freezer, September 2019. Corn, eggplant, okra, squash, fish (my husband is a fisherman) and more…
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Caterpillars in the Bush

According to this article from NC Cooperative Extension at NC A&T University about yellow-necked caterpillars, the caterpillars in my blueberry bush are in a feeding aggregation.

I’m not above taking caterpillars and tossing them into the field when they are threatening my crop, but since I already picked my last blueberries for the season, I wasn’t feeling so possessive about a few leaves. They do turn into pretty butterflies eventually.

I went to check on just how much they were eating this morning but they were all gone.  I did have a branch bare of leaves. They might have moved on, or they might have gotten picked off by the birds…