The last bean

I posted a picture of the first bean of summer on 11th July, and now –just over fourteen weeks later and with nostalgic regret – I’m posting a photo of the last of the crop.

We’ve had a terrific bean season this year. The weather’s been just right to bring them on, and a kind fellow-gardener encouraged them along further when we were away in Italy. We’ve done very well. But now the days are suddenly growing cold and so the vines won’t produce any more new ones. I don’t believe that any of the tiny beans left will grow or ripen any further. It’s over, folks, until next year.

I don’t know what made this last bean grow in a corkscrew, but it was hanging quite close to the ground so maybe it was fear of the rampaging corn-eating squirrel.

2 Responses to “The last bean”

  1. Alexia Says:

    Hi Belinda,
    I saw your question to Harvey on his blog about the poem of which you remembered a few lines.
    I knew the answer, but didn’t want to muscle in on his blog! However I now see that he has posted a comment saying that he can’t find it, so I am presuming to answer the query: the poem is “Twilight”, by Eileen Duggan, and I think it’s delightful!


    I was driving the cows and the frogs were soothsaying,
    ‘Woe, land and water! All, all is lost!’
    It was winter full grown and my bones were black in me.
    The tussocks were brittling from dew into frost.

    The earth looked at me, ears up in a stillness.
    I was nine at the time and a coward by fate:
    The willow-trees humped into cringing old swaggers,
    And the cows lunged up unicorns, passing the gate.

    A sudden wind clouted the nose of our chimney,
    It rumbled and bellowsed its sparks in a spray;
    I took to my heels in the terrible twilight,
    For I thought that the sky was blowing away.

  2. admin Says:

    Alexia – thank you so much! I am absolutely delighted to have this poem, and very grateful for your generosity in replying. It was a magical experience meeting this when I was nine – and a joy to be reunited with it.

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