Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Praise what comes from the dirt.
This poem makes me hungry, reminds me that we homo sapiens are not that different from the plant world, makes me wonder about vegetarianism, and also helps me realize that it's not just salad that comes from the dirt. Everything comes from the dirt.
I know there is stardust in everything, too, but basically everything you have, everything you are, comes from the dirt and will, sooner or later, return to the dirt.
I always think about this when I get ready to jump on an airplane because for a brief time tomorrow, and again when I return next week, I will not be directly connected to the dirt. As an earth dweller, that's always so strange for me.
Praise what comes from the dirt, indeed, in other words, praise everything. Oh yeah!
by Barbara Crooker
Feel a tomato, heft its weight in your palm,
think of buttocks, breasts, this plump pulp.
And carrots, mud clinging to the root,
gold mined from the earth's tight purse.
And asparagus, that push their heads up,
rise to meet the returning sun,
and zucchini, green torpedoes
lurking in the Sargasso depths
of their raspy stalks and scratchy leaves.
And peppers, thick walls of cool jade, a green hush.
Secret caves. Sanctuary.
And beets, the dark blood of the earth.
And all the lettuces: bibb, flame, oak leaf, butter-
crunch, black-seeded Simpson, chicory, cos.
Elizabethan ruffs, crisp verbiage.
And spinach, the dark green
of northern forests, savoyed, ruffled,
hidden folds and clefts.
And basil, sweet basil, nuzzled
by fumbling bees drunk on the sun.
And cucumbers, crisp, cool white ice
in the heart of August, month of fire.
And peas in their delicate slippers,
little green boats, a string of beads,
And sunflowers, nodding at night,
then rising to shout hallelujah! at noon.
All over the garden, the whisper of leaves
passing secrets and gossip, making assignations.
All of the vegetables bask in the sun,
languorous as lizards.
Quick, before the frost puts out
its green light, praise these vegetables,
praise what comes from the dirt.
"Vegetable Love" by Barbara Crooker, from Radiance. © Word Press, 2005.