Trouble in the Garden


Let me try to explain what’s going on here.

Owl has summoned the Maize God here to the altar of the Inverted Bottle at the behest of Jasper. (That’s Jasper on the right, in yellow. This is his garden.) Owl is very angry. She represents the dead and their kingdom, the underworld, where all is not well.


“Many souls are gathered at the Bottle’s neck,” she is saying (referring, of course, to the altar itself—a gateway to the realm of death). “The way is blocked, packed full with the newly-dead and nearly-risen. I was the last to squeeze through. Maize God, you must act!”


“But I rule over both life and death,” says the Maize God. “They exist only in balance. Blood feeds the soil, raising new life from seed. It’s as things must be. Besides—why should I interfere in what is essentially an Orb problem?”


“Yes, it’s true,” Jasper explains apologetically. “It’s the souls of my people causing this. If we could just be content to stay dead for a little while instead of rushing so impatiently towards reincarnation! But it’s Solstice, you see, and nobody can stand to sit it out down in the dark—no offense meant to you, O Owl, or to your kingdom.”

“None taken,” says Owl, blowing smoke from her eye-sockets. “Even I can’t resist a visit to the living world on Solstice night! But you’re sidestepping the issue, Jasper. Your people wouldn’t need to reincarnate in such volume if they weren’t dying at the same pace.”

“Well?” the Maize God prompts, when Jasper hesitates. “Why don’t your people stay in their bodies and tend to their gardens like they’re expected to?”

“That’s the trouble,” says Jasper.

“What is?”


“Centaurs,” says Jasper.

(Just pretend like that’s a shotgun he’s holding.)

“Well, shit,” says the Maize God. “Where’s Hummingbird when you need him?”

And yes, if you’re wondering, I did indeed get some seriously weird looks from my fellow gardeners as I was setting this up. No doubt the whiskey and pipe did not help.

Happy midsummer.

9 comments

      1. yep, after the head peices had been hacked off to go into the steamer. it was such a huge stalk, i figured i’d try my hand at the Howe-ian type photo.

    1. Thanks!

      My sister brought me that owl from Japan. She wanted to bring me something, and I said one of those rattle-headed tree spirits from Princess Mononoke. But she couldn’t find that. So Owl.

      Right now she is still in the garden inciting the cucumber vines to be fruitful and multiply.

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