On Pulling Carrots



On Pulling Carrots 

Some simple acts cry out to just be
Left alone, not friendly to or befitting of another poetic metaphor
Unembellished and resolute in their ordinariness
Not made to be made
To fit into an overstretched metaphor, placed strategically into the lines of
A poem, Lord please no
But raising a carrot from the ground
Is not such an act, it is artful and begs, no wails and weeps
Please place me in your bad poetry
It is replete with metaphorical monstrosities of language
And given artistic license, I could take the carrot
On a wild and winsome ride
On the wings of metaphor, allegory, simile, and mirth
A rising up from the soil is like raising Lazarus from the dead,  or the fast asleep from
Their garden bed, a grave
It is a spotting of an iceberg tip,  moss green carrot tops waving in the salt-laden Lowcountry air
Singing their siren’s song of hide and seek
Come dive down into the wet dark dirt, find me hidden here
In the shadows of the Earth
It is teeming with imagery of mystery
What lies below, we do not know
We are only given a glimpse of what lies ahead
What we are shown, a small portion of what we know
In faith, exists
Frayed green carrot tops waving from the Black Cow soil
Come and catch me if you can
It is a study in anthropology, and Psyche 101
Each one unique
No two alike
The root has ample time to develop into a carrot like no one has seen before, each one
A brilliant masterpiece
Hidden from the predators and garden thieves
Roots twist and turn, formed like sculptor, crafted art
In clay or bronze or wood
Have you pulled the orange beauties up one by one
Or even by clumps of threes and fours
Some simple acts cry out to just be
Left alone
Outside the confines of a poem
Pulled carrots from my garden
May choose their rooty fate
Of death by poetic metaphor
Or roasted with olive oil and a bit of sea salt
Becoming dinner on my plate




Here – A Guest Post, A Poem, Holly A. Grantham





I am honored to have my poet friend Holly Grantham guest posting here today. She and I have been friends through poetry, writing and blogging and have even partnered together on a poetry series entitled Adagio: A Poetry Project. Holly and I played with words on the page from miles upon miles apart, penning three poems. (The offerings in this series may be found at the end of Holly’s guest post). While the project is on a pause of sorts, Holly’s words continue to bring me joy. She is an artist and crafts beautiful poetic prose and poetry.

In her poem entitled Here, Holly’s words sing of her unique perspective on this life. And yet we hear, feel and even crawl into the space Holly inhabits. Holly invites. She delights. And her art is extraordinarily crafted.




I’m cooking dinner and
only because the days are getting longer
does the light still filter in
through the clouded window that
needs replacing
The pane is nearly opaque
but not muddled enough
to keep my eye from catching
the fluttering of a bird at the feeder
repositioning himself
to find more seed

While I cut broccoli
the baby sits on the counter
flapping his arms
like the bird outside
screeching with glee
drool dripping like honey
from his mouth
the bud of a tooth peeking
out from swollen gums

I set down the knife
and sip my wine in the pause
while through the tilted glass I can see
the edges of the room stained
crimson and swirling
catching light

Floating atop the life noise
clattering within these walls
a quiet song sways with being here
and I freeze
because something down deep
is stirred and righted
and in a twinkling the words of
Buechner that I read earlier today are
tangible and throbbing
framing the moment
as miracle

I’m remembering now
how every morning
glory pools in my lap while I’m
nursing my babe
legs crossed and warm
eyes still drowsy with sleep
and I’m afraid I miss it most days
in the wanting something more

I look back out the window and
the light has dimmed
but is tinged with orange now
the bird has gone but
the baby shouts a loud hallelujah
and I turn to him
his eyes flickering candles
I am here



blades of grass adagio project


Holly pens beauty at her writing home A Lifetime of Days . Follow her on twitter @HollyAGrantham .


Adagio: A Poetry Project is currently comprised of three offerings. The first, entitled Writing Across The Distance may be found here, the second entitled Black Night Of Hope may be read here and the third Les Mains

In The Beginning There Were Questions

Welcome. I just noticed you stopped by. Are you visiting? Did you stumble here? Did you come by way of The Nester’s 31 Day Series Home Page? Are you a subscriber? Maybe you’d like to follow on facebook or twitter. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where I think you will find it easy to do just that. And you  may click on the  Subscribe tab at the top to receive posts daily. Its pure delight to travel this road together. ( Click here to see all the posts in this series beginning with the Introduction posted on September 30.)

In the beginning there were questions. Questions like why 31 days of noticing?. Why follow here when there are thousands of places to choose to read – books, web sites,, blogs,  magazines, and more blogs. 

This is not for every one, this writing series. Here. At Elizabeth W. Marshall, poetry and prose through a lens of grace. But everyone is cordially invited. Maybe you will pick up a word nugget, or slip a piece of fragile phrasing that sings to your heart. And place it in your pocket. Maybe you will be inspired by poetry or prose. Maybe your day will be richer by feasting on a photograph of God-beauty. Or perhaps you will find time to sit for a magical moment, to digest a song.

Or if you are like me, perhaps you yearn for, hunger for, a place to be still and meditative. Every day will be a little different. Some quiet. Some a little spicier and louder. But never too loud. Noticing requires a bit of stillness. Hushed spaces give our souls room to breath.

Thank you for choosing this place for your October. It takes engaging all of our senses to maximize the art of noticing. Deep breaths of God-beauty and His peace.  Let’s begin. There is a bench along the way if you grow weary. Just sit down. I saved one especially for you.

In the beginning there were questions. 31 days button 500x500

Last night I opened the front door. It creaked a tired creak, parroting my own weary frame. I exhaled my day, stepped off the small front stoop and felt Autumn whisper with her cool breath. October is almost here, nighttime blew the words into my soul with her cool dark exhale. I have a gift for you. All you have to do is find the energy to look up. The sky holds a surprise.

As I gave my dogs a short last romp in the grass, the moon lassoed me. Between the tree tops I felt her take my chin and point it skyward. Wooing me to see a moon the shape, width and breadth of a clipped baby fingernail. Lit up and pinned against ebony. Surrounded by twinkling almost-October stars, spread out and winking, blinking. Shining  like a child’s art project. I smelled the Elmer’s glue holding the glitter in place. Creativity had just birthed a masterpiece in the night sky. A creation worthy of placing on my refrigerator. Under a magnet.  A study on the solar system, black construction paper and all the embellishments any craft box holds.. It seemed  created , especially for me.

My night would begin its end with a heavenly art project. My face slapped by cool wind. My heart quickened by Autumn smells. A gallery of glory. A private viewing in my very own front yard.

I have to remind myself. I need wide margins. That noticing comes from slowing down. Saving time and making room. So many years of my life were spent running. I spun like an animated Warner Brother’s character. My legs, Wylie Coyote. Roadrunner dusty blur. Blink and you miss. Blink and I missed.  I a whirling dervish. Like a hummingbird I lit hurriedly from place to place.

Life has taught me well to build wide margins in my living. And noticing with every fiber of me, it happens best when I make my margins school-girl wide. Set them fat and chunky. Build them in with wise intent. Design my day to save time for soaking in this very  season of my soul.

And the fuel that fed me was adrenaline. Dipping my beak into the flowers that kept my engines roaring fast, I flitted. I flew, my wings roaring with the sound of hurry.

I know me now. I know my soul needs space to notice. Little pieces of my insides feel less alive when I put my noticing on the top shelf in an old Uggs boot box. Something starts to stink. My noticing skills need to be excercised out in the open. To breath. Maybe yours do too.

Ready, set, go notice. 

(In the slowing down, feel free to record something from your  very own noticing in the comment box. I would love to hear your story of noticing).