Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First International Bank of Shakespeare

Below is an incomplete poem in honor of Midsummer Night's Eve.
Read the poem then go to the comment box below and add your own borrowings
from the Bard (or people who have already borrowed from him).  I'll add them to the poem and we'll build it together.

First International Bank of Shakespeare

We borrow from the Bard of Avon almost daily.
Much of the time, without interest.
We borrow at Will like there's no
Tomorrow or Tomorrow or Tomorrow.

It's a Brave New World
With instant communication
By four-year-olds who understand not the text,
But how to text.

Study, for a moment, the tale of Romeo and Juliet.
It's not just about teenagers from Verona;
It's about young lovers everywhere -
Neither an East side, nor
A West Side Story.

Congratulations to "bleerdon" for sending in these two verses:

"Consider, too, our journeys -
World-weary marches made lighter by
A 450 year old playboy, who
Taught us that no pots of gold, but rather
Lovers, found at the end.

And day to day, truth be told,
The Bard's prolific tongue still wags
In matters both great and mundane;
As we assay our plots,
As we confront our Brutes,
As we usher our dammed canine Spots off the furniture." 

Add your own verses in the comment section.  There must be at least one reference to Shakespeare in each verse (please site your source).  Let me know if I can give you credit and what name to use.  Let's see what we compose.

Monday, June 21, 2010


When I was younger, in my forties, on a trip down I-5 toward California I passed Oakland, Oregon and noticed there were a lot of Oak trees on the hills.  Ah, my clever self thought, Oak trees.  That is why the town's name is Oakland.  Going down I-5 there's also Ashland and Weed and Redding and Red Bluff.  And, a few miles from where I was born, there is Oakland, California.   But somehow, I didn't make the connection between those city names and the environment until my forties.  Oakland was Oakland. 

Now, at sixty-eight, I'm living in Redland, Oregon with a five-acre plot of land on which I can plant anything from arugula to zinnias.  I'm in heaven!   Down on my knees with both hands in the soil I pluck out pesky weeds or plant carrot seeds the size of no-see-ums.  But the soil here is RED.  "Hummm." I thought, my goodness, this is Redland. And the soil is a dense, red CLAY! 

That's why my French Tarragon, Basil, Butternut Squash, and half-a-dozen other plants, even though I spent a fortune to amend the soil, withered up and died.  So I researched and talked to neighbors and gardeners at local nurseries and found out what to do with clay soil:

Add pumice, 1/4" minus rock, and sand to the compost.  The organic material will rot and the clay will come back.  BUT the inorganic material stays and allows the soil to breathe.  Long live my French Tarragon.