The Gold Berries

I ate the gold berries
though the frosted green doctors told me no,
though their eyes flashed
their eyes flashed
their eyes flashed with green vernissage.
But I knew I’d never get me from the stump of the world
if I listened to their emerald evergreen words.
I’ve got a big rainbow to follow, said I.

I ate the gold berries, the taste sharp as plum lemon.
My limbs turned to banana legs. My eyes became lucid gems.
I floated down
floated down
floated down the river, down the long milky way.
I drank the waters — crimson sweet they were.
I am living, said I. I’m alive.

I ate the gold berries and it was worth it, say I.
For I saw Egyptian walking onions
all flat and sideways, pungent and hot as anything.
I danced
I danced
I danced round the Kentucky wonder pole,
me, a collective farm woman!
I swung the extra long handle dipper gourd
and scooped me a handful of moon and stars.

And the greatest prize of all — Dingwall Scotty.
A country gentleman, a real long keeper,
handsome as a duplex Russian giant, prize of the trials.
Your eyes, he said, are blue of Hungaria, blue hokkaido, blue hubbard.
Your lips, are honey boat delicata.
Love struck
Love struck
Love struck like a white globe hailstone.

We had a Nebraska wedding, supped on gold berry cake
iced with white wonder, topped with an ivory egg.
Our giant oxhearts beat big enough
for the whole mammoth sandwich island
to rumble and shake
rumble and shake
rumble and shake.

* * *

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt:

April is a time for planting things (at least where I am, in Washington DC – you may still be waiting for spring, or well into some other season!) At any rate, 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!


5 thoughts on “The Gold Berries

  1. This is like a glorious freewrite – I LOVE the Egyptian walking onions and whoever Dingwall Scotty is he has a nice rhythm to his name! I like the way it tells a tale. What was your method/technique with this one? I know you said once you write stories without tweaking and editing sometimes. Please cartoon Dingwall Scotty 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christine! I tell you, I had to really hold back the urge to turn all of this into a cartoon today! I am going to HAVE to cartoon Dingwall Scotty. And the frosted green doctors! Today’s method: I went through the different seed websites and jotted down any of the names that took my fancy. Some of them suggested a story to me. Originally, I was going to chose one and see where it took me, but then I decided to go crazy and stuff as many of the plant names into the poem as I could!


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