Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Thirty-second Contest :: Honorable Mention


Seeded Basil

by Darlene G. Engebretsen
Someday the lavender and rosemary
will become too tough and woody
to grow their purple stalks
and tiny blue stars.
Golden acorn and green zucchini squashes
will have spent their last energies
birthing their generous bounties.
The grapes will hang raisined on the vine –
treats for late autumn warblers coming
through on the California flyway.
Peppers will be cut, dried,
strung for spicy future feasts.
Maeve’s basil will have gone to seed,
leaving only its delicious summer memory.
Someday, autumn will surely turn into winter,
but that time is not here just yet.
It is not today.

Someday the amber queen and her master gardener Orv
will be gone to the twilight land of the gods and fairies.
There is no blossom as sweet as the love and knowledge
which flowed as ambrosia, so gently,
from their hands to our hearts.
At our most vulnerable,
in our most tender and delicate states,
this king and queen poured their life’s blood
into us, that we might someday
bloom as beautifully as they.

When the fallow time comes,
the world rests and draws inward under
layers of scattered leaves and snow flurries,
quieting all the woods.
It is the time to curl up in our furry softness,
warming each other’s bodies,
holding each other lovingly
into the last hibernation.

Yet I know because I know, because I know...
that someday, when the children of today
have children of their own,
a brown-haired woman and her sweet-eyed mate
will walk hand in hand by an old wooden house
into a field, surveying their new home.
To her surprise, the woman will find
a little straggling rose bush
and a small patch of wild basil
among the miner’s lettuce
on a dewy spring morning.
She will dig her fingers into the earth,
testing its richness, and say,
“Hmmm. I wonder how these came to be here.
This looks like a good place to plant a garden.
What do you think?”
He will look around to see the contour of the land,
nod his head, and smile.

About the Author
“I’m currently a part-time non-denominational minister, but long ago very much enjoyed being a Head Start teacher and later a social worker. I adopted my now grown foster daughter as a single parent, and have two grown stepsons and two grown step grandsons. At age fifty-one I finally met my prince; we joyously celebrated our fifth anniversary in May. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old and have enjoyed doing a bit of storytelling also. We currently live on the beautiful southern Oregon coast, but will soon be moving way out in the country in northern California to rebuild a small home on a mountainside.”
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