Herbal Remedies


A casual gesture like a gift of tomatoes, one at a time. Lobbed over the fence. Yes,
I think I understand what you mean, but I won’t release it while you’re still mobile.
(Unless it spits me into the underbrush. That’s when I talk. That’s when I haul out
the verbiage and spray.)
Meanwhile, my mischaracterization was gathering chaparral for an herbal poultice.
He and his wife were happy anyway.
Like you were meditating in the garden and had this overwhelming impulse to give
something away. Gently, you examined the motivation. And by the time you got to the
last tomato, you had forgotten why you were doing it. But liked it anyway.
Meanwhile, you continued digging dandelion root and Oregon grape for an herb
medley of powerful blood detoxification capsules. Ground to a fine powder.
(Then you wondered whatever happened to the ponderously flung tomatoes and
understood the essential difficulty of catching up to yourself. It used to be different, but it
didn’t used to be better.)
That’s when I planted my legs in the ranchy soil and took stock and let my
meanwhiles gallop into the sunset. A deliberately casual gesture littered the unused trail
with somebody else’s fences.
And now I’m lost in the Yellowdock. Tomatoes are sailing in from the West. I’m
going to stake a claim.
I’m telling you this riding into the sunrise, guilty of everything, my youth crying,
“Come back,” but there’s no name for it and the pollen in the air makes the sunrise look
like another sunset and I’m drinking it in and weeping sentimentally. There’s a wild
horse eating the yellowdock. I have a vague memory that it makes something undesirable
go away.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.