GARDEN CLUB MEMORIES
Quail call the hill home, and hummingbirds too,
quail as they click through rainbowed morning dew,
while the hummingbirds dart and whir about
in the flinging spray of the sprinkler spouts.
Songbirds pierce fruit on trees: peach, plum, loquat.
What they've found is a kind of Camelot -
a secret, steep hill, with a winding road,
wild-flowered canyons where winter brooks flow,
paths hidden next to buckeye where children
of each generation find them again.
Early moms wanted the hill to remain
a place where loving spirits could sustain
the feelings and joy from important things
like when the first robins sing in the spring,
the pink that reflects on cumulus clouds,
why fragrant, velvet iris are so bowed.
They gathered and formed a protectorate.
No snake pushed apples for Adam to eat.
The ladies imported experts to teach
how to divide bulbs, when to pick a peach.
They brought out their best china and silver,
concurred with parliamentary procedure.
They saw a hill view from each separate home,
at meetings held in spring, fall, winter gloom.
They raised money for projects deemed worthy,
like giving each year to save redwood trees,
or plant flowering cherries at the school.
Having learned what plants liked drought, wet, or cool,
they gave successful plant sales and advice.
Fine plants were sold at a very good price.
Talented members have contributed
to the pleasantness of the neighborhood:
Three Garden Club cookbooks over the years
have printed recipes - delicious fare -
spreading the fame of the leafy hill’s cooks,
the money earned given to do good works:
the best-looking mailboxes ever seen
adding agreeable tidiness to the scene,
the volunteer fire department
supported by us to a large extent.
The membership is like fine potpourri,
a combination with good synergy.
Old members enjoy chatting with young ones,
reminded of how their own days were once
filled with small children. The young members too
find continuity in the crew
of ladies who are now growing old,
simpatico as they see life unfold.
We can't believe how fortunate we are
to have found this special place for ours,
this hidden hill covered with trees that some-
times dance in cool wind from the sea, or loom
through fog like the red-roofed temple in mist
in my painting by an unknown artist.