03 June 2014


USDA photo by Scott Bauer, public domain.

Back before seedless fruits, 
I knew that swallowing
watermelon seeds meant
watermelon would grow
in my own abdomen
to my fear and delight.

I knew that rolling down
the car’s rear window and
tossing an apple core
made me little Johnny
farmer and troubadour.

I knew that seeds had con-
sequences, happenings,
births and restoration—
seeds were necessary—
and I guessed a fairy
godmother changed my seeds—

the black watermelon
ones I swallowed—into
whys, hows, and wheres—into
curiosity.  Where
had they gone otherwise? 
What can the seedless grow?

Seeds pop questions into
my senses where they talk
to brain cells, travel through
fingers, words, sound waves, books
and computer programs—
and meet newer questions.

Seeds swallowed grow poets,
lovers and questioners
who toss seeds from windows
to newer breeders of
curiosity.  So.
What can the seedless grow?

A sixling (6 x 6 x 6), posted for Shanyn's Poetics ~ Seeding at dVerse Poets Pub.

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast


Brian Miller said...

ha. i remember believing i might poop a watermelon...smiles....
what can grow unless we put seed...i would hate to think of being seedless
or fruitless...good for nothing else but the fire...

Gail said...

I think this is one of my favorites. I've often worried about seeds.

A simply wonderful poem that reflects many's thought but we didn't have the words. You did. Thank you.

Grace said...

Imagination and lots of it, I want to say ~ I specially like this part:

knew that seeds had con-
sequences, happenings,
births and restoration—

Have a good week Susan ~

brudberg said...

I had not heard that watermelons might grow in your stomach.. what a terrible thought :-) but I do love the thought of all the seeds a poet might throw out can grow into new words..

Vandana Sharma said...

Seeds: the tiny things that have the power to grow or destroy a civilisation.

Sreeja said...

wonderful.....great lines...liked the closing lines so much.

Seeds swallowed grow poets,
lovers and questioners
who toss seeds from windows
to newer breeders of
curiosity. So.
What can the seedless grow?

Marina Sofia said...

In our culture, it's the apple seeds you swallow which make an apple tree grow in your tummy (I always did that anyway, cos I loved eating them). Such a great metaphor - as a teacher/lecturer, sowing the seeds of curiosity is one of the most valuable and satisfying things we can do...

Gabriella said...

As a child, I used to wonder whether the seeds of the fruit I ate would grow into trees. Now I guess I am more careful of what effect the words I plant might produce.

Kathryn Dyche said...

Love how your seeds turned curiosity to questions.

Mystic_Mom said...

oh I like that question - what can the seedless grow? Poetically it has a depth that begs discussion. And how sad that we grow plants not meant to reproduce on their own :-( I love it when store apples and grapefruits sprout from their own seeds, in defiance it seems, and random things grow when everything says they should not. Great piece.

Maude Lynn said...

This is delightful, Susan!

Susan said...

I loved your emailed comment when I asked if any images came to you:

Dyche Designs Studio
8:20 PM (10 minutes ago)

. . . as in what can the seedless grow?

OLD!, he, he, he.

Anonymous said...

we used to sit and eat watermelon and try to spit the seeds the farthest from our porch - we were terrible, not understanding that air power triumphed over pucker power. But we were game and hardy seed spewers. Thanks for reminding me of those long ago times.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Seedless is an oxymoron of course; all seedless fruit has very small ingestible seeds, hardly noticeable until you eliminate them. Nice use of the prompt. At four I worried about swallowing seeds; at five I had wised up.

Anonymous said...

Great response to the prompt. What happens to those seeds, are we plants of curiosity? Homo sapiens, indeed, the monkey mind race. When I lose something, I pull out the same old joke about it getting spat out into the universe like a watermelon seed. My way of griping against Fate, I guess. But then the universe always responds to my gripe thus? Why not you?)

Unknown said...

As you likely know, Susan, I am an avid gardener; so this poem has great appeal to me. I plant heirlooms and buy non GMO, organic, locally-grown whenever possible. Of course, your metaphor is not lost on me either. Nurturing our personal truth, depth, soul and inner growth/evolution is necessary for the betterment of the world.

Susie Clevenger said...

Great metaphor...so much of what I write comes from seeds.

kaykuala said...

Seeds swallowed grow poets,
lovers and questioners
who toss seeds from windows
to newer breeders of

That is right! Seeds are the ones that procreate and give way to abundance of ideas numbers and myriads of activities. Poets are just as expected to be found in the numbers! Wonderful write Susan!


Unknown said...

I found the seeds you scattered once
Gathered them up
Carried them
Let them germinate slowly
Across days
And continents
Travelling with the traveler
Like pebbles in pockets
Weighting the dreamer
Keeping windblown feet
Until fertile ground
And time for planting

Susan said...

You were an early bloomer!