Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Kitchen Garden

I garden. I eat. I love.

The Kitchen Garden

What do I know of food, but love?
Marily prepares it
I eat and love it.
It is the love that nourishes.
The love superimposed on every molecule
in every morsel.
She is among the best I know
at doing this, surpassing mother
and grandmother
and every old lady
who lived in a shoe.
Better than bakers dozen
and fairytale cook of stone soup.
What do I know?
I don’t cook.
I just eat it.

But wait!
Who grew those potatoes?
I did.
Who planted the carrots
and hoed in the row
keeping the weeds to their knees?
Tomatoes bowing to sun
and growing red
peppers green
while moon offers harvest tips
before the beans can climb the fence
escaping to neighbors
'cause a garden won't walk out the gate.
Shovel and clipper, a wheelbarrow load
and squash à la carte
side salad salsa
and blueberries à la mode.
I know, I know.
I grow ‘em.

Ever wonder why homegrown is better than bought?
I found out as a boy on the farm.
Mom was the gardener and cook.
Dad milked the cow and plowed till dusk.
On our 20 acre plot
we had a garden and a barn
an orchard and grape vines.
Once mom made dandelion wine.
It tasted great before I was old enough
to know.

We knew all living things were by the love of God.
We worked together for the food.
Even hard work was good
on the farm.
Someone told me once—
was it Mom or Aunt Louise?
who made goat cheese
like none other:
It’s not the food that feeds you.
Love those seeds before you plant them.
Hold ‘em in your hands
give them your breath and teach 'em
what love is. Put them in your mouth.
Caress them.
They’ll learn to know your needs
and track all past disease to present.
Infuse what’s needed for prevention
in their pods and roots and leaves.
Peas and beets and spinach
need clean water.
But better that you first
soak your feet in the bucket from the well
and water after dinner
when the tree-line hides the sun.
Or in the morning before it rises
higher than your shoulder blades.
And grass is not to mow,
but for sheep and goats to eat
providing what is needed for those beets.
Brown the springtime garden before it grows.
Love your seeds before you plant them.
Walk barefoot on the dirt.
It works to love
the plants you grow
and let them know you.

Life is love's expression.
Love is God in food.

© 2009 Ardi Keim

(For more on Marily's cooking see High Cuisine.)

Sings from the Window

Our writers group meets for an annual retreat at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Today is the day.

Sings from the Window

View to the west this winter day
an abundance of life
and the light.
Chickadees in trees preening
and swiping their beaks.
Woodpeckers exploring each bark crevasse
one red-headed and another
black and white.

Two cardinals at the feeder and more in the bush.
A fat crow sunning in a high branch
overlooking the footbridge
and frozen lake.
Two, no three others
now light to form a tree-top flock
and call themselves
to sovereignty.

A fiefdom of other birds
join the lower ranks.
Most of them
I do not know and need not.
Their beauty is
the knowledge of Soul,
a waking dream
of Thanksgiving,
of Gratitude,
of Love.

I rest in this peace,
this retreat of nature
and supernatural ambiance.
It sings.

© 2009 Ardi Keim

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Out of the Blue

Note the right-hand sidebar icon of the book Out of the Blue--Preparing for Other Worlds under Recommended by River-Tree Whispers. This book of spiritual poetry was written by a good friend of mine, and includes one of my poems in the introduction.

An example of her work is reproduced below. It is a favorites of mine in the collection:

by Melanie Payne

Like the air we share
Not belonging to one
More than another
God embraces us individually
Simultaneously cared for
We share atoms with ancients, newborns
All life
Connected at the core of survival
With each encounter
All are blessed
Both teacher and student
From first breath of life

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009


The original version of this poem was written in my spiritual search about thirty years ago. The nature of Soul is of Love, of Truth, and of Freedom. Recognizing we are all of the one divine Source is the starting point of that true nature.


Free to look into your eyes
and see that you are me
that we are one
despite apparent differences
the union of spirit
is strong and eternal
though ego plays the games
spirit reigns.

We need not know
or see, or play
just be.
Then and now
forever after we
are Free.

© 2009 Ardi Keim (written ~1979, rev 2/21/09)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kissing Baby Feet

Love comes in many ways. Once I made a Valentines Day card for my wife. It said (I wrote), "Valentines Day - big deal - just another day - I love you more." Pure love can fit convention. Often it doesn't. Then there are babies. Thirty-some years ago--our daughters . . . . And ever after.

Sweet as a spring bloom

Warm like fresh bread

Autumn leaves

The forest scented

Kissing baby’s feet.

© 2005 Ardi Keim 1/29/05

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Moments We Share

Words to encourage
A smile or a glance
View from the window
A call on a chance
Symbols of heart time
A line from your poem
Our journey’s mile
Winding road home

Love for our children
Their trials and joys
The moments we gain
To mend hearts and toys
Lifetime of volumes
Verse linked by gold
Turn back the covers
Soul never grows old

Skyline of white tops
Trail through the glades
Bridge of the Gods walk
Crossing the page
Like art in the great hall
And South Seas salt air
Eternal these gifts
The moments we share

--Ardi Keim 7/20/02

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Eternity of Gaze

One from the past...

Eternity of Gaze

What words can say is already said.
Sounded so untrue
when repeated outside the head.
Better in song of heart
or dance—the message of soul—
when the melody leads
true steps of love will follow.
Better still: the smile in your eyes.
Can I look at you awhile?

The color of my love
is not framed in black and white.
There is a golden glow
that only silence holds.
Eternity of words
in this forever gaze.
I see in your face the sun at midnight.
A total eclipse cannot hide
your light.

What words say
can only hint at what is right.
In the sleep and in the smile
I heard you say the word of soul.
Can I look at you awhile and read your love?
Is written in your heart,
is mine to hold.

(c) 2002 Ardi Keim 3/7/02