By Stan Schwartz
CLARKSVILLE—The Clarksville Public Library held its annual Plant Swap on Saturday and brought in some skilled entertainment to spruce up the plants and seeds brought out for an even trade.
Brent Engel, local historian and prolific author, was called on to read from his extensive original poetry collection. But for Engle, poetry is more about the show. He brought props to aid in the reading of his poetry. Granted, his poetry reads more like an Irish limerick, and is just one step this side of bawdy, but it’s still family friendly—mostly. For this day, to keep in concert with the theme of plant swapping, Engle first read his poem “The Gardener.” That poem is included below. He read several other, delighting the audience with his wit and rhyme.
Following Engel was Joanna Brock, who is with the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce. She regaled the audience playing some ’70s tunes on the library’s baby grand piano. There were several drawing for prizes, and almost everyone went home with something from the gift pile.
Feeble hands quiver slightly as they delicately
place seeds into the warm, loose soil
This is all that she has left now,
a patch no longer planted for noble practicality
but because of unflinching tradition
For now, there are no intrusions in this peaceful realm
With the thunder comes the spring rain to awaken a kingdom
and the warmth of summer appeases her subjects
Invaders will eventually poke through the soil or trample
the staked rows, but her sons and daughters will rule
She thinks how blessed it is that life allows us
to renew ourselves, much as her garden blooms
Alas, she sighs, all beauty is grand no matter how long it lasts
Here, of course, it will pass, just as the petals and the pickings
Now, if the world would only stop making weeds