The cucumber had died, suddenly.
In the heat.
Mikio had tied it up with
strips from an old torn sheet.
To keep it off the ground
so it would’nt mold.
He got one good cucumber off
And two tomatoes, ripe just right.
Look at that yellow with the green
of the cuke.
The collard greens were flowering,
tasty, added them too.
To season, basil flowers
and the olive oil infused with garlic
left over from the grill.
Flowers from the garden.
Really, just making the most
of going to seed.
The arugula flowers don’t taste bad either.
The black sage flowers he cut
to make a rub.
And the roses…they’re roses, bred to be picked.
Nasty thorns this time out.
Like shark teeth.
Mikio ground the dried sage leaves with sea salt.
Added some dried rosemary which had a few blue flowers of its own.
Winner, winner chicken dinner.
Got a cat (two actually), got a room (for the cats)
and he’s now 20 pounds thinner (mostly from not eating).
The new year was just days away.
Spring would soon follow
and another year of possibility
and potential would arrive.
The neighbor’s dog sang
a mournful song as it sat alone
chained into the
small space between the houses.
Mikio wanted to feel
the hope of spring
but, instead he
felt tired and defeated.
His youth was gone,
as was his savings.
Living in the moment
was no longer a choice.
It had become a necessity.
It’s the messenger of life.
The omega dog.
Information and data.
It is alive.
And sometimes, in the morning,
it can still surprise you.
Mikio was about to sit down
when he was struck
by an accidental light show,
splashing on his chair.
“I am in between the stars”, he said,
Aching with savoir faire.
Mikio looked up from his meditation and saw the landscape.
The distance from one hill to the next
was only discernible from
the contrast of one green
into the next.
“This is how time recedes”, he thought.
Slowly fading and melding into the past.
Looking back you can see
the years pale in the distance.
“Is it still an epiphany if you’ve had the realization thirty times?”
“Don’t know if I’m stupid, stubborn or just slow to learn.”
It had dawned on him (again) that his life was just like his garden.
Overgrown, unkempt, and not really sustaining the family.
The pain was just compost to the worms.
The garden faucet had sprung a leak.
Rather than fix it, he planted mint and watercress.
A simple way to turn the problem into something useful.
The mint was effervescent and made a julep to die for.
The watercress had a kick that made his salads sing Ellington.
Both flourished from Mikio’s laziness and ingenuity.
“Would you like me to go hang myself so you can sell my house and get the money?”
“Yeah, that would be good…no, of course not. Why would you ask me something like that?”
Shuffling of papers.
“There was a mouse in my fireplace this morning. Dickens got it, I think.
She’s the hunter.”
Mikio is a loyal son. Yume is testing that loyalty.
Bees buzzing the pale blue chicory flowers, legs fat with pollen.
Birds singing to their peers, warnings of lurking enemies.
Dogs defending their territory, planes rattling overhead.
Traffic hitting like waves along the morning shore.
Mikio had sat down to meditate and had fallen off to sleep.
Now the sun would test his mettle.