Socrates and the Gardener

Socrates walked in a garden lane sunny
Fresh grew the flora in sunlight like honey
Bushes and trees lined the pathway of granite
On which the philosopher’s footsteps replanted.

And as the man walked, he walked for the good
but senses stood dancing and misunderstood
in brightness of light, whether or not
the bright happy path of virtue were taught.

And thinking in uffish and walking alone
there was there a man of a trade he had known
with a pot full of cow dung and tending a plant
and spraying with Ortho, a gardener sat.

“Rejoice, O Greensman!” and “what a nice day!
I greet you in the civil Greek-speaking way.
The trees look so marvelous! God make you thrive!
Tell me please how you make these plants so alive.”

"O rejoice, O Socrates, whose flat nose well known
is respected and loved everywhere but his home
where wife like a shrew makes the young men attractive,
I will tell you how I keep life so vitally active.

"From warmth and from sunlight the plant takes its life
but keep it from dark and from coldness too rife,
for warmth gives the plant its sensitive feeling
and light draws it upwards and nourishes being.

"Remove all the obstacles you find to its growing
and twine it in wire for an excellent showing;
a wire well-trained tree yet undaunted proclaiming
its culture and order and elegant making.

"Before this, however, the tree must be strong;
you must seek out and kill all the mites that do wrong,
for mites slowly sap the strength of the tree –
will always to drown them with best certainty.

"But morning light brings then the dew all a-glistening
with first morning light the lark wakes the listening
and sings of the dew in the sunlight a-glowing
and does what the dew does which quickens things’ growing.

“But moonlight and shade, give them apace
and let the tree cool for the right time and space
for even too much light and heat in good time
will damage the unrelaxed core in its spine.”

The gard’ner reached 'side him with a mischevious smile
and dug from the pot he had sat with all-while.
With lips tight and narrow and dimples turned back
he gave the great thinker a wink as he spoke.

“Remember a little manure is good for the tree
and refreshing the soil dung most pleasant can be.
But one sure way there is of killing the crop –
never ever pour too much dung on the top.”

And with that he had finished explaining his art
of how to train plants to defy gravity’s part
and Socrates stood there the green wood admiring
and thanked then the greensman from the depths of his heart.

– Hieronymous Kitsch

[what do you think – did you like it?]

I really like your usage of manure as a symbol and I love the natural aspect of the poem! Quite Naturalistic!

the read was a wonderful experience! Light and airy, good flow.