Listen to a reading of this poem

Have you started your seeds yet?

displaces “Hi, how’re you doing?”
because nobody wants to hear
you’ve got the jump on them, that
your lettuce is almost salad size,
your one hundred and twenty day
southern California artichoke
has leaves longer than your fingers
and twice as fat,
and your leeks have grown so long
you’ve trimmed them twice.

Have you started your seeds yet?
asked in the conspiratory tone
of young boys comparing notes,
“Did you get to first base?”
and the moment of hesitation when one,
then the other, considers the truth
and whether to tell.

Have you started your seeds yet?
asked by those who have never tried,
wanting to touch the growing season
through the moisture
of their questions, the warmth
of your answer.

Have you started your seeds yet?
asked by those who want
to talk of new varieties of petunia
that sprawl thirteen metres or argue
about the best tasking tomato.

And there are those who
just want to feel the word
tomato inside their mouths,
cherish the movement of tongue
to top of palate, lips pressing
together, then rounding
and opening into its final O


published 2001

publisher Seraphim Editions

category Taking Root

Full list of Poems


Like a River Flows



< >


An Offering

Controlled Burn

No Need

April Addictions

Some Functions of Poetry

Some Functions of Snow

Digging Out

My Sweet Love


Have you started your seeds yet?

Palmer Rapids



The Thing with Feathers

Hope Rides High

Badminton and the Seven Deadly Sins

Ode to Milk

Said the River – One

Apologies 1

Left over Papadoms

Grocery Store Tulips (two versions)


First Smiles


Elegant Death


When you Love

I Wanna Fly