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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 4, December 2013

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A.T. Allan
Wenatchee, Washington, USA


Gifts From The Dirt

On a sunny August day, I walk one mile up the hill behind my house. To a community garden plot. Just in front of me: a 15' x 25' rectangle of tilled, rich soil. Bursting with aromatic colors. Fresh vegetables.

Today the garden shows off its full bloom. Hues and shapes as exotic and varied as those displayed in any parade. Yellowish peppers hang down next to their neighbors. Carrots reveal only the tips of their orange heads from the dirt. Reddish-purple beets swell in the ground; their fiery red-and-green tops mesmerize. Clumps of green and yellow beans swirl in the whistling wind. Under the rustling leaves, cucumbers dangle over radishes. A white butterfly circles, searching for a suitable cabbage.

under old weeds
a cucumber blossom—
sultry night

I take a deep breath; let it out. A clean fragrance of spearmint mixes with the sweet scent of basil. And what about the sweet aftertaste of a newly-picked Bush cucumber, thinly sliced and marinated in vinegar? Or the firm feel and subtle, seductive flavor of a fresh Walla Walla onion? Ah, it's time to slice open a ripe watermelon.

summer breeze:
my neighbor barefoot in her
pumpkin patch

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