The Scarlet Emperor Beans of 2021

The snows fell in summer last year, my beans
Were twelve feet tall, vulnerable, OH NO!!
I covered them with sheets to keep them green
They mostly made it, continued to grow
Gave me seeds for this year, purple and black
Beautiful promises I took gratefully.
And I put them in a small, red sack
In a pink metal box to wait safely
For this spring to come. The beans from 2020
In small pots ahead of summer, have grown
So happily and tall, my house can barely
Hold them till they are safely in the ground.
These undaunted beans are not a metaphor,
But lovely, joyous seeds from a hard, strange year.

Here’s the backstory of the Beans of 2020

I’m gobsmacked by how these beans have grown. In past years at this point in the spring, they might be a foot high. But what should I have expected from the seeds of the dauntless surviving beans of last year? I think I’m going to have to put them in the ground soon even though more cold could come. It’s a problem. They’re saying “We’ll be fine” but I know they might not be. Many years a hard frost hits the apple blossoms in late May. BUT some of them are going out there today. I still have the sheets under which they were formed. ❤


This is a Shakespearean sonnet, more or less. 14 lines, ababcdcdefefgg. Iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with the stress on every other syllable, but I’m not a fetishist about that). The final six lines are supposed to set up a situation established by or counter to the first 8 lines. I’m not big on rules, though, other than the rhyme and syllable thing. I’m writing sonnets as a mental challenge, mostly, but once in a while one might be good. I started writing sonnets when I realized I just don’t have much more to say in one of my customary blog posts at the moment.

7 thoughts on “The Scarlet Emperor Beans of 2021

  1. Those Chinese poets were tough – and I’m sure the beans are too… Perhaps they are encouraged by the hardships through which they first began. Is it possible for beans to have racial memory?? Now I’m going to go ponder this question…

    • I planted two today. One of them had a hard time getting into the ground and his root ball was basically destroyed. Only the little peat pot in which he started remained in good shape, open at the bottom which I did when I put them in larger pots. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t make it through this hot day. I watered them a few times. Over the course of the day, he recovered from root shock, straightened up his leaves and smiled on the universe. I am afraid of coming cold, but I guess since they were born under sheets they won’t mind being covered. I still don’t now who these beans are. They seem more like explorers and adventurers than poets. We’ll see.

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