The Vegetable Gods

George Moore

In my garden, there are lambs
and griffins, the guardians of light
from older religions, and plaques

with bareheaded men, with women
turning away, the animals on four legs
condemned by scripture.

They prowling at night through
the carrots and peas, dancing on hind legs
whenever it rains.

In my garden, the water runs East to West,
without channel, culvert or ditch,
Jordan baptisms, a Gathas symbol of life

finds its way into the imprint
left by my foot.  The animals dive
and bring up mud to make a world.

In my garden, the vegetables bow
to an invisible Priapos, vegetal god laughing
at new-turned compost, applauded by goats and sheep.

Yet, in my garden, winter has stayed too long
for Proserpina’s return, the days grow scaly
in geologic time, and I wait for the earth

to give up its fruits. The gods have never abandoned
their vines, but left furrows, traces as spring
dissolves with climate change,

a hot season rises up, a glimpse of hell,
and the animals wait for the gardener, a keeper of
the light, to carry them home to a new sun.


About the Author

George Moore's The Hermits of Dingle was released this summer by FutureCycle Press. His fifth collection, Children's Drawings of the Universe, will be published by Salmon Poetry Press in 2014. Moore's poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, Lowestoft Chronicle, and he has been a finalist for a number of book awards, including The National Poetry Series. He lives with his wife, the Canadian poet, Tammy Armstrong, in Colorado and Nova Scotia.