Work Yet To Be Done

Commonplace Capers, No. 08

In his fascinating study of gardening, “Second Nature,” Michael Pollen proposes that our incessant fiddling with the soil and the plants is inherent to our species, not just as culture, but as an evolutionary survival strategy, one that has worked in our favor.

Of course, this incessant fiddling tendency of ours can be also linked to the horrific impacts our species is having on the planet. Is a bomb nothing but a gardening tool? (Pollen does not propose this, I do).

The impacts of the world wars last century on the landscape are a fascinating study waiting to be published, unless I missed it.

And our carbon discharge every time we drive to the store, is it not but an unconscious fumigation technique gone awry.

Man will never be above nature. Man is nothing but nature. Nature has little need of man.

Go, Go, Godzilla

The shear power of the greening–

if science knew how to measure

(which it pretends to), well,

as Walt Clyde Fraser might say,

making an NBA call on the radio,

it’s both confounding

and astounding my friends.

The force of life,

erupting this spring,

as in springs past,

yes, life on planet earth–

both confounding,

and astounding.

Show me your white tail, dear

I just spent twenty or so minutes

with the ladies, nine sisters

and cousins that have found

in this acreage a haven.

I am blessed that they allow me

to observe their ways, and learn.

Much of their world focuses

on listening. The way they

use their ears to tune in

to threats is astonishing.

But something else is going on

with the way they place their ears.

I just watched three traverse this field

with ears folded back, tight—

and it had nothing to do with hearing.

So yeah, I think we have a great deal

yet to learn.

The Four Sisters

The four sisters,

sentries guarding

the rear flank

beyond the stone wall,

a property line

run right down

the middle of the valley

about the time

of the Civil War.

Cacophony visited at dawn

when six crows appeared

in their intertwining

branches, a serious

debrief to decide

the days mission.

A bit later

does ambled over,

only to be startled

by the urine markings

sprayed across their trunks

last night by a coyote.

The sisters whisper

their shared longing

for spring’s return.