Poems by Kelly Ball

SUBHEAD: Poems by an organic gardener living on Kauai.

By Kelly Ball on 12 August 2009 in Island Breath -

Image above: Detail of photograph of Walt Whitman taken in 1884, eight years before his death at 73. From http://www.yale.edu/terc/democracy/may1text/may1text.html

To Be A Poet
To be a poet that's the best
To ride time's wave the moment's guest
To deal with fate and destiny
And all the other important things
Truth and Lies and Soul set free
Love and Hate and Empathy
Ecstasy or Agony
Intimations of Immortality
A poet has the second sight
And is familiar with the night
Understands the flight of birds
And puts its meaning into words
Understands that time's a rhyme
The meaning of the paradigm
Understands we pass a test
Before our soul can come to rest
Effusive praises of creation
Weaving images of inspiration
Poetry dances in our ear
And makes it easier for us to hear
Like the dewdrop and the sun it mirrors
The crystal vision of the seer
Rhythm that has no defense
And no resistance to its sense Is the language of the soul In a world that's to and fro

Image above: Detail of black cat photo modified by Juan Wilson. From http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Black_Cat.jpg  

To Be A Cat
To be a cat is the best
To spend the day at ease and rest
To loll about and be adored
Above it all and slightly bored
To bat at butterflies and strings
And feast on sweetmeats that humans bring
I think you can tell what I'm getting at
Just how great to be a cat
We pounce on mice and other things
The exhilaration that this brings
Sometimes fierce our nature wild
The moment next purring mild
Pussyfooting across a fence
The very essence of innocence
As far as cute we're off the chart
Lightening rod of the human heart
We're the kittens
With which you're smitten
Your love magnets from the start
Aristocratic mysterious vibe
What other creature has nine lives
If curiosity kills the cat
Satisfaction brings us back
In ancient Egypt in times before
Guarded all the temple doors
Was the model for the Sphinx
Enigmatic primal link
Memory of your instincts
And considering things diurnal
We the cats are nocturnal
Spend the night with the galaxy
Floating in the cosmic sea
Eyes reflect eternity
That nowhere look that is our ken
We the cats are really
Zen Arching, leaping, graceful bound
Shattered teacups all around
That "Who me?" look of which we're masters
Gets us through the small disasters
Always landing on our feet
From any calamity that we meet
On a pillow or in the streets
Who else with such aplomb
We the cats are the bomb

Image above: Photo of organic cucumber vine. Converted to gray-scale by Juan Wilson. From http://www.snowyhillgardens.com  

To Be A Cucumber
To be a cucumber is the best
To twist and vine in the solar fest
To spread our leaves and get our fill
Thanks to all the chlorophyll
Neither do we spin or toil
With our roots deep in the soil
Natural grace and elegance
Each one of us a resonance
Unlikely floating like a dream
We are more than what we seem
As together we become
The silent symphony of the one
With our color shape and form
And our pace that marks the norm
Patterns of infinity
To be found within our leaves
Through the season's sculpted dance
With our flowers cast a trance
Primal pattern of sex and gender
Bearing fruits of jewel tone splendor
When you feed upon our mana
And your life force full of prana
As recorded in your lore
Of mythic times gone before
We the plants are Eden's link
Where what you get is what you think
Creation's art and creation's wealth
We're the essence of your health
The daily bread of your communion
Celebration of nature's union
Joie de vie is yours to savor
Infinity of bursting flavor
Tap dancing across your tongue
Every morning the day begun
The miracle of the rising sun
Of which your poets often sung
Who denies we're heaven sent
That we the plants are sacrament
And this is how it's really meant
The nourishment of soul's ferment  

• Kelly Ball is supervising the gardening program at Kauai Community College and has an organic garden in Kekaha. He can be reached at kellyball2222@yahoo.com

 See also:
Island Breath: Poem by Bruce Robertson 9/1/04
Island Breath: Poems by Faith Harding 6/19/05
Island Breath: Poets on Kauai 3/22/06
Island Breath: Poem by Millicent Cummings
Island Breath: Poem by Jonathan Jay 10/4/08


Lynda Driscoll said...

What a treat! Poet made me tear up, Cat made me laugh and affirm and
cucumber made me head for the fridge!

Claire Brunetti said...

Prolific poet and wonderful imagery. Thanks

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Lynda,

Thanks for your comment. It drew me back to these poems and I realized that the article had lost its original carriage-returns and line breaks.

This was due to a reformatting of the blogspot format in 2011 that messed up hundreds of previous posts.

I have reedited the article to what I believe is the original format.

IB Publsher

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