Bell Jar Tomatoes

Each tomato nestled insideBell Jar.jpg
one of seven bell jars
soldiered neatly atop our garden wall.

“It’s an experiment,” she whispered,
clad in raincoat and boots,
umbrella ready at hand.

“What kind of experiment?” I returned,
no rain gear for me, an adult without worry of storm.

“It’s a mystery,” she breathed,
eyes intent on vermillion,
globes luminous in the gloaming.

“And how will we know…” I slapped at my arm,
gnawed by a hungry mosquito.

“The Frog Children will come!”
Her incredulous wide eyes squared at me,
not allowing a finish to my question.

“Of course. I forgot.” I bowed to her fervor.

“They will come through the steam.”

“You mean fog.”

“No! The steam.”
And she steered her umbrella toward the pond.

We stood guard until dark.
No Frog Children came.

“Oh, well!” with a shrug and she flit back through
our wooden kitchen door, swallowed up
by the inky hall to her bedroom.

Tomorrow will percolate new mysteries for us
in our garden of bell jars, tomatoes, and steam.


Author’s Note:

This poem is from hour 14 of the 24 Hour Poetry Marathon. The prompt was as follows:

Write a poem that contains at least five of the following ten words. Feel free to include all ten if you wish: Frogs, Evening, Tomatoes, Jars, Raincoat, Steam, Peculating (Which I read as “percolating” by accident after fourteen hours of writing,) , Children, Elbow (Which I changed to arm in the final draft. ), Mystery.

In the Cave of Our Ancestors



Upon our broken land, Ancestors,
we ask for your return
that we may be the hollow bones
to bear and tender your healing.
May we walk in beauty upon our land.
May we walk in beauty upon our land.
May we walk, again, in beauty.




In the Cave of Our Ancestors, collage, by Lex Leonard




Once I lived with old grown trees,
arms bent to their years,
crooked under time’s long breath.

Cattails at attention.

Rushing stream after storm
pushing over, pushing round rocks
where gentle purple thistle rise
on prickled backbone.

There I lived in must of
leaves of seasons past.

I stayed
with moon who
arched and hid with sun
in reverie chased.



The tree is full this year.
Hailstorm and early frost
retreated. Branches held
tight to buds and filled
my shade, round and luscious.
Only a mosaic of muted rays peak
through ample arms holding
their inheritance, the DNA
of trees.

She is a dancer, substantial,
arms not bony but full of
life, elegant reaching, touching,
telling their story.
She is big, her stomach round
but throws no shade, only light
unexpected, someone who
is not supposed to be.
DNA proud and strong,
pops and taps consummate
her power.

The tree holds nothing back,
buds twice, maybe thrice,
if storm is strong, returning.
There is no fear, just pure
being, a place embedded in
Earth’s impartiality.

She makes space for those
who have been smudged.
She moves through this sphere,
no grief thrown.
She shines so others
can be.



Author’s Note:

For us.

Arika Armstrong


Roxanne  GayDoyle_Roxane_Gay_Bad_Feminist_850_593.jpg