Marigold blight, Terry Trowbridge

Philip Kobylarz, Diablo Range, Photograph


Marigold blight


This July the marigold flowers
resent the governance of stems
so they flee to the soil
and furl the leaves with them.

A curious anecdote
in the histories written by worms
who observe the sources of shadows
above them between briefly surfacing
in the sight of birds.

Terry Trowbridge


Review by Theric Jepson

I am not a gardener though I do observe what I see around me, flowers coming and going at a schedule I can’t be bothered to memorize. But others do memorize. And why must all those who care most be above the ground? The worms, to my reading, are the heroes of this poem.


Review by Jared Pearce

I love the idea of the worms as recorders who seem to look up at the surface of the soil as if it were translucent, though they do make sorties to case the joint.


Review by Massimo Fantuzzi

“Small world” is an essential element in any nursery setting. It is the area of the classroom where proportions and distances lose their status, and reality drops its guard against a realm crawling with a thousand plotting creatures; down there, complex, deafening and arcane narrations remain playfully child-led, unique and beautifully volatile. That grammar we were once fluent in, that way of decoding the world has become now alien to us; one fine day and in unclear circumstances, those voices fell silent – flowers, bugs, bark, dirt, and leaves froze and disappeared backstage of a comedy that, frankly, is no fun for anybody. The Early Years provision has ended in severity and targets, muzzles and shame, and gone forgotten is now the old playtime.

Thankfully, the written word of poems like this one takes us back to that true learning, that primitive and creative hands-on feel. Let’s kneel to ground level and enjoy the show once more, let’s try to remember that only by acknowledging worms’ and birds’ history as ours, we can hope for a future. Will there be time for eggnogs and eclogues / In the place where we’re going?/ Said the spider to the fly. (from W. Kees, What the spider heard.)





Scroll to Top