Exploring life without Providence

Harvesting Blueberries

The best bowl of berries is harvested slowly
First sought by size though this varies so much
Scanned for a color that signals maturity
Finally tested for ready by touch

Size matters somewhat but varies by cultivar
Still find the first hint of readiness there
Each breed is different but should grow consistently
Check the expected size then test with care

Sometimes obscuring a pale immaturity
Dappled light hides the true color away
Slowly the branch must me turned to get fuller light
Patiently leave some for some other day

Even deep color is less than dispositive
Weak stem adhesion determines the test
Though it looks ready it can’t be plucked strongly
But falling to gentle touch signals the best

So the best blueberries aren’t gathered quickly
But slowly selected by one who’s aware
Wooed with a light touch and great sensitivity
Gathered with diligence patience and care

© 2014


Comments on: "Harvesting Blueberries" (4)

  1. So true! I used to pick blueberries at a local farm. I also had to avoid fire ants!


  2. By way of response to a reader’s comment (“I am very curious to read about the meaning of this– slowly as a metaphor for?”): As a lover of blueberries, I found that my desire to secure only those that were ready for breakfast, the uncertainty of the outcome on a cool morning so early in the picking season, my careful efforts at discernment throughout the exercise, the gentle touch I was using not to force the fruit to fall but to coax the right fruit to come only if it was ready, all brought to mind the word “wooing”. The metaphor of a careful lover, and the opening line of the poem, came in an instant in the garden, and I knew there was a possible poem there even as I continued harvesting, although it took the entire season to produce the finished product. While I cannot judge whether the final product deserves to be called poetry, I do hope these verses somehow draw from the reader a reaction that suggests something more than harvesting blueberries might be involved.


  3. Isn’t that the way it is in relationships, too. Very nice visuals in the poem, , Gary


  4. Thank you, pedometer geek, for the encouragement and specificity of your comment.


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