Poetry Friday: “New Hampshire Rock Garden”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllToday I thought I’d share something summery, for adults.  I wrote this a few years ago, and deliberately used a simple, straightforward, prosaic style…because it just felt like that’s what the subject required. Consequently, it’s nothing fancy, but I like it. Hope you do, too!

“New Hampshire Rock Garden”

My wife wanted a rock garden
I preferred vegetables
so I pulled out stones
and planted tomatoes
pulled out more stones
watered the squash
pulled out more stones
thinned the cukes
pulled out more stones
weeded the beans
and when it came time for harvest
pulled out more stones.

She has a rock garden, all right.


– © 2009, Matt Forrest Esenwine


Sherry at Semicolon was scheduled to host Poetry Friday today, but since she doesn’t seem to be around, I’ve provided a list of some of the folks participating. If you have a post, please feel free to leave it in the comments! I can’t guarantee I’ll have time to repost everyone’s links, but hopefully visitors will scan through the comments and see what piques their interest!

Robyn Hood Black interviews Margarita Engle: http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm?post=919998

Michelle Barnes has an original poem inspired by her daughter: http://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com

Father Goose shares a “Couplet at a Metaphor:” http://www.charlesghigna.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-couplet-as-metaphor.html

Writing about difficult subjects is Laura Shovan’s subject today: http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-writing-about-difficult.html

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche wrote a poem inspired while attending Kate Messner’s virtual writer’s camp:  http://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/sometimes/

Catherine Johnson has two left feet: http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/two-left-feet/

Irene Latham shares some beautiful Valerie Worth poems: http://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2013/07/valerie-worth-poems-about-pocket.html

Diane Mayr shares her experience at a New Hampshire writer’s retreat: http://randomnoodling.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-last-laugh.html

Diane also has a “Cocoon” poem at Kurious Kitty: http://kuriouskitty.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-cocoon.html

And a quote about the “wild mind” from Michael Hettich: http://kkskwotes.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday_26.html

Linda Baie is feeling vacation anticipation: http://teacherdance.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-anticipation.html

Liz Steinglas shares a poem she wrote last summer about an iconic summer flower: http://elizabethsteinglass.com/2013/07/sunflower/

Mary Lee Hahn  also has sunflowers on her mind…sleds, too! http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2013/07/poetry-friday-speed-of-time.html

Joy Acey shares a modern haiku: http://www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2013/07/modern-haiku.html

Tabatha Yeats points out some of the highlights of the journal, Still: http://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/2013/07/still.html


Did you like this post? Find anything interesting somewhere in this blog? Want to keep abreast of my posts?  Then please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right! (I usually only post twice a week – on Tue. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day!)  Feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter or Facebook.

29 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “New Hampshire Rock Garden”

  1. Somehow, recently celebrating 29 years of marriage makes me smile at this poem. Could have layers of interpretation – For me, you’ve captured the repetition, the humor, and even the reluctant “maybe your way is/was better” involved in a successful marriage! Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks, Robyn. While I had been married for 16 years to my first wife, I had only been married to my current wife one year when I wrote this – so the give-and-take and necessity to compromise that makes a marriage work was certainly something on my mind!


  2. Pingback: Sometimes | Reflections on the Teche

  3. margaretsmn

    Matt, Thanks for taking on the roundup today.
    Love the repetition in your poem. I’ve been married 31 years and only made it this far through constant communication and give and take. Here’s to a flourishing garden in your current marriage.


  4. Catherine Johnson

    That is so cryptic I almost don’t understand it. I like the meeting of minds. Thanks a lot for doing the round-up :0)


    1. Thanks, Folks! Catherine, I tried to give it a bit of double-meaning: it can be interpreted as the give-and-take of a marriage, as some have indicated…or it could simply be a vegetable garden full of stones. (which is literally what our garden is like!)


      1. Catherine Johnson

        At least you’ve got the vegetables too. I got the other meaning, just wasn’t sure if it was veggies and stones or if one was a metaphor. Easily stumped, I can’t even answers questions about my own poem lol.


  5. If starting a garden (marriage), one does find rocks, & sometimes buried deeply. You’ve shown such a wonderful metaphor here, & then (from your comment above), perhaps there is just soil filled with rocks. Thanks for hosting quickly, Matt! I have a Wendell Berry poem about vacations today, advice for myself since I’m leaving tomorrow for the beach!


  6. Pingback: Poetry Friday | Semicolon

    1. Thank you all for stopping by! I’m on my way out the door to bring the Little Dude to his grandparents out-of-state, so I hope to check out all the other links when I get back or over the weekend. Hope I wasn’t stepping on your toes, Sherry…just wasn’t sure what was up; I do hope you’re feeling better. Have a good weekend!


  7. What a fun and true poem…about so many things. You got a giggle out of me, the weed gardener! And yes, thank you for coming to the Poetry Friday rescue today! We appreciate it.

    Over at The Poem Farm, I have a small poem about building, I welcome some neato second graders who share about Fun Poetry Mondays, and George Welgemoed is back with two more wonderful poemdesigns. http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2013/07/i-build-fun-poetry-mondays-and.html

    Happy Poetry Friday to all! xo, a.


  8. Pingback: Poetry Friday: A Splot, Buildings, and A Windmill | Reading to the Core

  9. I just got home from a 2-day writing retreat — thank you so much for grabbing my link and for filling in as host for Sherry. That’s what I love about this community — we’re a community and we take care of each other!


  10. Matt,
    I like your stone garden poem. Like Demonstenese, (gosh I hope I spelled that stone guy’s name right) being married often makes us swallow stones. You can always take her to Japan to see the Zen gardens, or there are small desk-top kits for making your own Zen garden that she could play with.
    I’ve been doing some research on the history of children’s poetry this week and have found several references to Iona Opie that give her and her husband Peter Opie credit for identifying children’s poetry as a worthy and seperate area for research and study (as opposed to lumping it in with adult poetry.) Iona Opie turns 90 next October. Is there any one in the Poetry Friday group who has met her, or has an Iona Opie story? I’d love to chat with them. If anyone has information, you can reach me at joyacey@gmail.com

    Oh, since I post a new poem everyday, I’ve got two spine poems up today and my usual poetry challenge on my blog at http://www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com


  11. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: July 27, 2013 | Semicolon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.