TalkinHarvest  Time Blues


Well, it starts with a catalogue that comes in the mail

In the middle of the winter, when you’ve had it with those pale

Thick-skinned, store-bought, sorry, hard-as-rock

Excuses for tomatoes with the flavor of a sock


And there on the cover sits THE juicy, red, ripe

Homegrown tomato you’ve had dancing in your head

Never mind you said last August that you’d had it up to here

With the hoeing and the weeding—that’s what you say every year!


So, you fix a cup of cocoa, sink into your favorite chair

Put your feet up and you thumb through the pictures and compare

Big Boys, Better Boys, Early Girls, Romas

The new disease and drought-resistant hybrid from Sonoma !


Then it’s on to peas and carrots, lima beans and beets and kale

And you’ve never tried kohlrabi—say, the lettuce is on sale!

What’s a garden without sweet corn—better plant some marigolds

And you just read in “Prevention” ‘bout how garlic’s good for colds!


So, you phone an order in that nearly melts your Visa card

Then stare out at the foot of snow that blankets your backyard

And visualize your garden, oh, so peaceful and serene

Until at last you close your eyes and slip into a dream about:




Harvest time (bushels of red, ripe tomatoes!)

Harvest time (sweet corn that melts in your mouth!)


Well, the days turn to weeks and the next thing you know

There’s a robin at the feeder and the last patch of snow

Disappears ‘bout the time that a UPS truck

Backs up to your house and you stand there, awestruck


As 47 “Perishable—Plant Right Away”-

Marked boxes are unloaded on your porch as you say,

“Are you sure?” “Yes, ma’am, need your signature here—

Looks like someone’s gonna have ‘em quite a garden this year!”


Well, you watch him drive away, then you sink to your knees

‘Cause you feel a little woozy: Forty-seven boxes—Please!

God, I know I’ve got a problem and we’ve had this talk before

But help me this one last time—I won’t order anymore!


Just then, as if in answer to your prayer, your sister’s van

Pulls up into the driveway with Aunt Martha, Uncle Stan,

Two nephews and a cousin, who just stopped to say hello

But soon are sporting calluses as up and down each row


You, their warden, push ‘em; it’s a scene from “Cool Hand Luke”:

“Over there—those clods need breaking! Leave more space around that cuke!

See those bags of steer manure?  Bring a dozen over—fast!

Yes, I know you have lumbago, but you’ll thank me when at last (it’s)




Harvest time (show you what a real strawberry tastes like!)

Harvest time (might even let you help me dig potatoes!)



Well, that night it starts to sprinkle and you can’t help feeling smug

‘Cause your garden’s in the ground and getting watered while you’re snug

Underneath the covers, or at least until midnight

When the temperature starts dropping and in no time you’re smack right


In the middle of your garden, in your jammies, on your knees

With a headlamp and a hammer and some tarps and jeez Louise

It’s cold but you keep working ‘till the last plant’s safe from harm

And there’s holes in your new jammies and bursitis in your arm


“Cause by gosh, you’re a gardener right down to your muddy clogs

And even when the rabbits take your lettuce and stray dogs

Pee on your zucchini and a fungus coats your kale

“Cause it’s rained for two weeks’ solid—do you falter?  Do you fail?


Yep.  You throw your hoe down, stamp your feet and call it quits—

Declare to all the neighborhood that gardening is the pits

And you’ll never plant another and this one can bloody rot

Then suddenly the sun breaks through the clouds and, like as not


You see a couple weeds you must have missed the last go-round

And shake your head and meekly pick your hoe up off the ground

And hoe and keep on hoeing ‘till your romas dangle red,

Ripe and juicy on the vine, sweet corn towers overhead,


Beans hang from their trellis, big orange pumpkins sprawl about

And you get that satisfying feeling once more when you shout:




Harvest time (Break out the canning jars!)

Harvest time (Man the pressure cooker!)

Harvest time (You have to take zucchini—we’re related!)

Harvest time (Now THIS is a tomato!)



Stephanie Davis

Recluse Music (BMI)

(970) 870-3112

All Rights Reserved