Shadowcliff Opens for the Season on Memorial Day. Now Taking Reservations!

Mary Silwance, Shadowcliff board member, wrote this beautiful poem (posted to her blog entitled Tonic Wild).



Mary’s Blog Introduction: 

I have been an English teacher, stay-at -home mom, farmhand, and environmental educator. I write poetry and essays and garden and try to allow the world to break my heart enough so I can be useful. I started tonic wild to explore the intersection of environmentalism and spirituality. How do we find our rightful place on the planet and with all beings with whom we share this glorious abundant home?

Thank you, Mary!

Tomato Tar
in my stained hands
like a chalice
I hold a tomato blush toned
heart shaped

in the high tunnel
where vines trellis
tall then cascade
down the other side
I work for a farmer
fond of obscure varieties:

Green Zebra striping into
chartreuse and lime when ripe

Garden Peach, a fuzzy yellow
ping pong ball

Chocolate Chestnut
which tastes like neither
nor smells like tomato

and how are tomatoes fruit
like peaches
that dribble juice
down my chin
but not like blackberries
which don’t blacken my fingers
but stain them
red instead

if it does not match the
I expect
how do I
recognize it

this heart shaped one
construction paper pink
like a Valentine

nothing like
the chambered muscle
pulsing in my chest
cupped in white ribs
a different sort of chalice

what does either
have to do
with love
I am not
writing a love

besides, how does
the accretion of yellow
dust from tomatoes
tar my hands
then cascade
green in water
which is
oh so