Fleeting forsythia, finally

I found this poem last spring, just after the last forsythia bush had turned green. I had to wait a whole year for the next blooming, and then I found that the poem is absolutely right. No one does plant forsythia anymore. The forsythia I found was mostly on private property. Private property with overgrown yews and old landscaping.


I finally found a row of forsythia by the library, separating the parking lot from a busy highway:


poem is in bush
poem is in bush


and taped Alison Brackenbury’s “Schemes” to a branch:


I love this little poem, but can’t figure out why it’s called “Schemes.” Any ideas?


  1. Trish Rawlings

    If no one plants you anymore,

    Thanks to your eleven-months-and-ten-days-dun-brown hue,


    And general


    How will you ever get yourself propagated?


    Hmmm. . .

    Maybe be a color that explodes upon the scene.

    Will that work?

    Try it!

    (Well, it can’t hurt.)



    The sparrows that flew above and saw not

    Are diving in,

    And the eyes that glanced away

    Now linger

    Like a lover’s.

    (Is this what they call

    A win-win?)

    [This came out sounding and breaking like a poem,

    Mainly one that pales beside the one with the intriguing name.

    Damn, here I go again!

    Blame it on spring, wanting to make a poem

    Out of everything . . ]

      1. Trish Rawlings

        I gather you mean seniors such as myself. So I’m a ghost! To fight this, today I’m a hydrangea–in purple. (Or is it AN hydrangea? Did that ever get sorted?)

  2. alisonbr

    Wonderful! Thank you very much. I think the poem was called ‘Schemes’ because I was thinking of ‘Planting Schemes’. I must have been reading lots of gardening articles. So glad you found a forsythia! Very best of luck with flowers and poetry. Alison (Brackenbury)

    1. poemelf

      What a rare treat to have the poet herself weigh in on a question! Thank you so much….wondering how you found your poem here.

      And what a perfect name you have, for a gardener and a poet!

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