Ode To My Gathering Basket

‘Tis with great respect that I give honors to my gathering basket
For ’twas many a harvest that was eased by its girth
Yeah, I remember the seasons and the plenty held within its space
The herbs, each providing their own bit of medicine to the world
I recall the days spent clipping, cutting, and drying those gifts
Sage, rosemary, thyme, and the vegetable herbs for the pantry
Angelica, mugwort, borage, soapwort, and other greens for the potions
Horehound, motherwort, and the healers for the tinctures
And the rosebuds, lavendar, hips, and bergamot for the teas
Indeed, my gathering basket has been blessed with such precious cargo
As harvest finally comes to a close and the first of the frost appears
Again, I find myself reaching for the familiarity of my basket
The fruits in the meadow; the plums and apples and pears
Mushrooms from the highlands and watercress from the streams
Wildflowers for the tables, skullcap for those lucid dreams
And yet without strain, creak or remorse, my basket carried on
Into the finality of the green, the last of the carrots and potatoes
Turnips, beets, pumpkins, and squashes of every size and color
The rich blue corn, tender parsnips, horseradish and garlic
Journey after fruitful journey did my gathering basket make
Until the moment when everything came to a sudden and abrupt stop
The cracking of wicker sent a chill down my spine and I lost my breath
Slowly turning to look and the reveal of a break and a weakening
My trusty gathering basket had finally been dealt a serious blow
Those years of avoidance finally reached an end and I knelt in reverence
Yet, I did not release that basket to the great heap of refuse
No, I retired it to my library and there it hangs to remind me
But, as I found myself in need of a gathering basket
Luck would favor me with one that eclipsed its predecessor

R J Schwartz
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R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

3 thoughts on “Ode To My Gathering Basket

  • June 29, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    Oh what a blessing your gathering basket gave you time after time. It is a lovely basket and deserves its place of honor. Wonderful poem and tribute to a beloved helper. Well done, Ralph.

  • June 30, 2017 at 4:00 AM

    Nicely rendered of a basket that served you well with all its memories of the produce and herbs is carried. Well done and in respect, adieu dear basket. Great Ralph. Tis the simple things that make life pleasurable.

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