Friday, August 26, 2005


I've always pampered my tomatoes the best I can, given the poor soil I started with up here, and as a result of all this coddling the tomatoes never had the freedom to show me what they could do, their general purpose always being to provide me with tomatoes, not teach me about architecture. Thus it was that I remained ignorant of tomatoes’ many other purposes and skills, their vegetable craft, their sense of organization and structure, their zesty intelligence, their green wiles.

Thanks to my long vacation in the US and the subsequent jet lag, however, to say nothing of the vortex-visits of Kaya and M&M, my garden has been left pretty much on its own for nearly 2 months now. Unsightly as it mostly is (the bees and butterflies are having a ball), the neglect hasn't had much effect on the herbs, since they've always been pretty close to wild anyway, same with the ginger, wild pumpkins and what not; but the tomatoes surprised me.

I'd staked them small-plant minimally before leaving them on their own, expecting them in their unwatered, unnourished, uncoddled varietal eliteness to slowly wither away from vegetal ennui, but over the hot months the scarlet sovereigns have banded together and organized into a Roma-Mini-Beefsteak Republic whose flag is red orbs rampant on a field of green. They have carefully interwoven all their arms into a tall, fragrant, inwardly shady tomatodesic dome that is very impressive, completely resistant to even hurricane winds, preservative of moisture and serves eminently well as the capitol building of the Tomato Republic.

This morning, though, while visiting the capitol on some porkbarrel business I noticed that a crow lobbyist had left me a bright red flower, carefully fashioned of an empty tomato skin, right on top of a rock where I would be sure to see it. Then I noticed down in one corner of the Capitol Dome a crow-sized door... The crows have fashioned their own entry into the rotunda, inside which they walk around at their leisure while selecting the particular fruit that pleases them of a morning. Now I have to fashion some sort of crow barrier, as father of the Republic whose seeds I planted with my own hands, and whose fruits I now wish to enjoy. Such are the burdens of vegetable government.

No comments: