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Harvesttime by Kathryn Hummel

I am barefoot in the garden        barren-handed gathering

flat-crowned heads of poppies twists of sweet pea.

Crescents at my fingertips scrape off the sepia of spring

ten moons loaming as the apple tree

supple-skinned           cotton-green     strums its pastoral.

The soil waits breathlessly to release its resin       that miracle of scent      

                         performed by the land with rain.

Bitterly began the buds                                

           now scallop-edged Selznick crinolines    blooming extravagance

above renegade seeds.  Strawberries shelter pointlessly

abandoning sweetness for days                                

no longer small or               aggrieved by cloud every skin

and its bones defined         by a pained shaft of light.

Detached from their murder a trio of anthropological crows

                                  observe the activity of my field                

their clever         occasional notes dubbed into the composite murmur

of trees. My dog plunges between gnarls of bromeliad      a wild

animal feeling out    his hollow of rest. At a respectful distance I track him

to take notes                  fetch water        collect specimen.

               Digging down to the cool of the roots he buries the distress

of his illness     emerges parched        

watery botanicals clinging                            to his golden fur. The bees

are our accompaniment             with dexterous patterns of transfer                      

pollen in their pockets                        vigilant against storms.

In the house I string up spent heads and hips                  install flowers

to assist the living. This harvest  of seed bract      and husk                              

prepares a space for flourishing. Birds gust towards us

through the front screen door.   Heading fast to our hearts

playing on our desire for a swoop upwards.

Kathryn Hummel is an Australian writer, researcher, editor and multi-media artist constantly on roaming. Author of legion uncollected works (some award-winning) and six books of poems, her latest is Lamentville (Singapore: Math Paper Press, 2019). Follow her on Twitter @katscratchez and check out her website here.

Akshita Sinha is 19 years old, currently living in New Delhi, India. She makes ball pen and digital illustrations. Find her work on Behance and Instagram.


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