Twas the night before root pruning, when all through the garden
Not a bonsai was stirring, not even the shohin;
The wire was hung by the bench with care,
In hopes that a thick branch would soon not dare;
The Ficus were nestled all snug in their pots,
While dozens of fertilizer cakes danced on the flats;
And mamma with her ‘clippers, and I with my rake,
Had just settled down for a short re-repotting break,
When out in the garden there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the potting bench to see what was the matter.
Away thru the branches I flew like a flash,
Tore open the akadama and sifted a bash.
The sun on the breast of defoliated branches
Highlighted the trees collected from Adam’s ranches,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature pick up, and eight tough looking bear,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Bonsai Nick.
More rapid than Jim his workers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, CYPRESS! now, OLIVE! now QUINCE, and JUNIPER!
On, BUTTONWOOD! On MAPLE! On MYRTLE, and ACER!
To the top of the bench! to the top of the pedestal!
Now pot away! pot away! pot away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the bench-top the worker bears flew,
With the pickup full of tools, and Bonsai Nick too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the air
The chopping and sawing of each little bear.
As I drew in my hand, and saw turned around,
A heap of soil Bonsai Nick had scrounged.
He was dressed in an apron with a BSF logo,
And his clothes were tarnished with turface oh no.
A bundle of roots he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a Bonsai Master carrying a sack.
His eyes — how bloodshot! his sunburn – how tawny!
His cheeks were like moss, his nose like a Bahama berry!
His droll little mouth was full of annealed copper wire,
And dangling from his beard was a pair of jin pliers;
The handle of a root cutter he held tight in his hand,
And the crud hanging off of it was crusty and grand;
He had a sharp clippers and a little round tool kit,
That shimmered when he trimmed even when a branch split.
He was chubby and plump, a right proper stump,
Reverse taper or not, he knew how to clump;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his wrist,
He cut all the shoots; even ones I missed.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the pots; then pruned with a jerk,
And laying the trees in pots lined up in rows,
And giving a nod, the bonsai all rose;
Then with the work all done, He sprang to his pickup,
With the bear jumping in the back like the just pulled a stickup.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Its Fun working on Trees and to all Trees, give good light!”