Here’s today’s prompt:
April is a time for planting things. I’ve recently been paging through seed catalogs, many of which feature “heirloom” seeds with fabulous names. Consider the “Old Ivory Egg” tomato, the “Ozark Razorback” or “Fast Lady” cow-pea, “Neal’s Paymaster” dent corn, or the “Tongues of Fire” bush bean. Today, I challenge you to spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities. To help you out, here are links to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Baker Creek Seed Company. Also, here’s a hint – tomatoes seem to be prime territory for elaborate names. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find something to plant in your garden! Happy writing!
The prompt came in late on a busy day and I thought I was going to be stumped again, as my knowledge of heirloom plants in non-existent. However, dipping into the Baker Creek Seed Company’s website was a colourful experience which gave me a character called Plum Granny Muskmelon and some very nice veg names. This poem had a few variants before it found its form. It started as a series of haiku verses. However, these had no zing about them and I realised that Plum Granny Muskmelon was asking for rhyme and rhythm. It might even be a song.
Plum Granny Muskmelon, what do you grow?
What’s your take on those heritage seeds?
Do you go all organic in every respect –
in your farming, your diet, your deeds?
My purple potato is molokai sweet,
my corn it is hopi pink,
my peas are red rippers, my carrots are black –
my radish green luebo I think.
Jing orange okra is simply the best
and I love to grow rich scarlet kale.
Eat a rainbow each day! It’s the only way
to be healthy and hearty and hale.