How to Grow Avocado by Martin Porter

“I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do” O Pioneers – Willa Cather

Choose your sapling carefully.

If planting bare rooted,
Ensure the roots can spread
In an elegant fan, else
Dig a pit just deep enough,
But not too deep,
To take the root ball,
Gently guide
The root tips downward to ensure
A good, firm anchor.

They say it takes
Seven summers
For this tender tree
To mature. That’s not
Too long to wait.
Rich, oily fleshed and puckered
Dark skinned fruit
Worth waiting for

Weigh down its broad leaved
Reaching branches,
So vigorous I have to prune it
To perhaps three
Or four times my own height,
Or reduce it by the
Careful grafting of its leg
Onto another foot.

And at its centre
The polished nut,
Seems almost systole, pumping
Future sap in woody veins to
Wrinkled skin on sunburnt lips, or
Palms of a gardener’s hands.

I lean on one leg on my spade
And wonder “Should I
Dig this pit through
The midpoint of the Earth
And out the other side?

But here, the air
Is much too warm,
The soil too rich,
To lose, by just one
Careless footfall
Slipping gently
To cold winter,
Rotting windfalls.


Return to This Week’s Flash


Filed under Martin Porter

8 responses to “How to Grow Avocado by Martin Porter

  1. Barbara Lucy Hosken

    I enjoyed reading this, partly because I planted six little seeds from a tree I love but don’t know the name of. I have already had three shoots from them. I’m so thrilled. I’m looking forward to transplanting in an elegant fan! No matter how long it takes, I’m hoping that at least one will become a big tree with lots and lots of red berries on it.

  2. Barbara Lucy Hosken

    P.S. So it’s not an avocado, but I don’t care! Red berries are beautiful too.

    • martin

      So glad you enjoyed the poem. I don’t blame you for not caring, most trees, not just avocado, have an elegance and beauty. And as Willa Cather said…

  3. A beautiful nature poem with a pretty sexy sub-text!

  4. wonderful poem from someone who understands growing things. rotting windfalls — lovely. peace…

  5. Pingback: Week #43 – To the core | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  6. Pingback: How to Grow Avocado | Poetry Notes and Jottings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s