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.

There’s a Monster Out Back

As a sickly newborn,

(They sent my parents home

on day two,

told them to order a coffin.)

I cannot remember, but

I am sure it defines certain behaviors

erupting over five decades later–

the intensity of the incubator,

back in the day, 24/7.

Well, surprisingly, it worked,

and somehow the mucus plugs

buried deep in both lungs, dislodged.

No one was more surprised

than the doctor, who provided

treatment for the next ten years

free of charge, because

resiliency surprised him so.

Welcome to planet earth.

We hope you enjoyed the ride.

My childhood repetitive nightmare

was traversing a narrow boardwalk

with alligators in the waters,

then the deafening sound

of a train approaching,

then inside a chicken coop

under attack by a coyote,

feathers flying everywhere.

At this point,

my parents would wake me,

the fever often over 104 degrees,

and into a cold bath I’d be dropped.

There’s a monster out back,

and it’s pissed I yet breath

and dare to call it out.