of hosta elegans there flame
the topaz eyes of tawny gods
serene as Buddhas in their claim
of umbral garden sovereignty.
Feasts of worms and slugs conspire
to shield the toad from poverty,
though drought – occasional and dire –
may rob his skin of poisoned silk,
quench his eyes like burning moons,
reduce to bones as pale as milk
his girth, and wither his moist rooms
of questing root and trammeled leaf.
Even gods may come to grief.
e. yon 2002
This is one of a series of four Shade Garden Sonnets written some years ago and included in the chapbook Fruit & Bones. The accompanying artwork is by Carolyn S. Pio, who illustrated the chapbook, and who is a marvelous watercolorist, as well. See more of her work at http://www.wix.com/carolynspio/csp-website.