|Folks, in these parts have long called it
"Devil's Garden." There's even
a road named Devil's Garden Drive and while
the reason or reasons are not quite as evil
as the name sounds, I didn't want to make
mention of it without some explanation
I wondered about the mysteries of "Devil's Garden" and so decided to research it which proved quite a chore. You see, if you ask ten people around here one question, you get ten different answers. Two of the most interesting tales are the legend of Devil's Garden Bill told to me by a local librarian, and the other being that this area was built on or near ancient burial grounds .
Now both stories are feasible being that both the mighty Calusa tribe, and later the Seminoles inhabited this whole area. Now I love regional history and the fanciful lore but to simplify it, I have concluded that Devil's Garden was named Devil Garden because as late as the 1960 and 70's, much of this region was considered uninhabitable and but for the heartiest few, remains so even today.
In any event , this city girl has her own reasons for calling it Devil's Garden, and this is the inspiration for a series of poem stories that I have written and come to affectionately call "Tales from Devil's Garden" that gives readers an often comical look at my life here in Devil's Garden. Soon they will each have their own page but in the meantime here is a samplin' . Enjoy!
Adonis of Devil's Garden
There was an element of danger
and I was on his turf,
giving him the advantage
but something kept me there.
Like a voyeur, I could not take my eyes
off of him.; I knew he had his eyes on me.
He was absolutely magnificent.
A perfect male specimen,
surely worthy of my apotheosis.
In defiance of text book description,
he put his counterparts to shame.
I was seduced by the sheer
magnitude of his prowess.
This omnipotent creature,
was quite at home in his environment.
I, was so out of my mine.
I should have high-tailed it out of there,
but I didn't! Instead just stayed,
watching and waiting
for him to make his move.
I wondered what he was thinking
or was he thinking at all?
Damn his arrogance.
This Adonis , with cocksure ways.
Perhaps, it was the way he laid there
basking in the South Florida sun,
exposing his long, dark (almost black)
lean - muscled body,
teasing me with his indifference.
He was hard to resist but
I got the feeling that this
was a part of his plan.
To lull me into complacency,
before he spun me to his dinner plate.
I was taken in and
I so , wanted to get closer,
but my instincts told me to keep
at a safe distance.
So I just stood there,
barely able to breathe,
My heart pounding in my chest,
handsome . . .
for an alligator. ;-)
C.V.B. August 7, 2000
Living as far out as I do,
sirens are not something you hear.
As a matter of fact,
it was only the second time in five years.
Still, today they pierced the silence,
echoing through the trees ominously,
sparking FEAR , of the unimaginable.
The roar of engines rumbled in the distance.
We listened, they stopped,
but just for a moment.
Wait there was more, they just kept coming.
it sounded like a war zone,
the droning of a 'deuce and a half' eerie,
whining tires upon unpaved roads ,
the cries of an unknown victim,
the song of disaster all around me.
Livestock abandon their pastures,
cowbirds take flight,
a quick prayer~
Ohhhh my God, was it fire?
Did one of our neighbors die?
Police action perhaps?
An escaped prisoner hiding in the woods?
We should go see,
but should we leave the property,
suddenly vulnerable on a beautiful afternoon,
tranquility disturbed, feeling ALONE.
The law of the swamp is to take care of your own.
one can only think of the worst,
this is the curse of Devil's Garden,
it has a hardening effect,
that one can neglect to see,
until times like these.
A certain queasiness,
as we loaded up in the truck,
wondering what malady
waited just beyond this sanctuary.
Up the muddied drive we go,
and thru the makeshift gate,
we finally get to the hardroad,
and then we have to wait ...
For the freaking parade,
Mike the deputy leading the way,
'Bo' the commissioner waves,
Division of Forestry,
Smokey the Bear,
our hapless Fire Department,
of course they are there.
Fire Chief Edith and all of her geeks,
dressed up in their finest,
Raymond even wore his teeth.
I saw RED, I wanted to SCREAM,
but instead I breathed a sigh of relief,
It seems all they wanted us to know,
is that it was Fire Prevention Week.
~ Ok, so I don't get out much ~
C.V.B. October 7, 2000
inspired by my favorite cookbook
'White Trash Cooking' and my humble lunch of today
Searchin the kubbard,
for sumtin ta eat,
the cats join in,
puppies at feet.
Ahh, thars rice,
look real hard,
fir dreaded boweevel.
A can o blackeyes,
a can o greens,
bakin of course,
but it ain't real lean,
a lil vinegar,
for an added flava,
now that's a feast
for kings ta sava.
CVB May 8, 2000
Most would perish
in these conditions,
a slough of primitive
Steady treading water,
if not one thing, itís another.
bogged down this craft,
aluminum, open hull,
payment in full, for breaking his back
for this land vast and wildly beautiful,
the deed once said Uninhabitable
if not the bureaucrats
who sit up high like fat cats,
making promises to the lowlanders,
holding tight to their old money,
rancid from old sugar.
With a pioneer spirit he
proudly makes his last stand.
Heís a good man, if not a bit naive.
Heíll be damned if they let
them take yet another thing.
And yet slowly, the land disappears,
incredible with each turn of a farmerís rachet
those who ignorantly try to alter nature.
splish, splash in rubber boots,
he is off once again to prove something.
I sit here, staring out the window,
at rising flood waters,
just thankful we are both strong swimmers.
C.V.B. June 29, 2001
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