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!

Vegetable Love
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,
repeating, repeating.
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,
earth's voluptuaries,
praise what comes from the dirt.

"Vegetable Love" by Barbara Crooker, from Radiance. © Word Press, 2005.


Lynne said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful poem.

Love the light in the first photo. And, I am going to keep a copy of this poem. Thanks for this today Reya!

I hope you have a wonderful vacation. Will you be blogging from there?

Reya Mellicker said...

I will switch off my computer tomorrow a.m. and not turn it back on until I return next week.

Do you think I'll suffer from withdrawal?

Elizabeth said...

This is all so wonderful both the poem and the pictures.
As you know I'm gardening like a thing possessed here.
Look up Andrew Marvell's Garden
it will make you ecstatic.
Yes, you might feel a bit odd without the computer.
I should try it some time.
Have a super vacation

ellen abbott said...

Reya, those squash blossoms are gorgeous! I think it's not so much what you eat (because I believe all things are conscious) but how you go about it.

You may not but I certainly will. What will I do without my Reya?

steven said...

hi reya, "the whisper of leaves" . . . mmmm i love that! you know you'll be fine without the whisper of your computer. absolutely fine!! after a couple of days away from it you sense the world differently - again!!! i wish you a safe, joyful, magic-filled journey!!!! steven

glnroz said...

you may not,,but other may (withdrawal,,lol) have good vacation. I start Thursday,,be careful

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen I agree with you completely.

Thanks Steven. We'll see about how I do without the computer. We'll see. I have an open mind and I believe that it's important to take a break from everything, really from everything.

Steve said...

Love it! :)

Have a great trip, Reya!

janis said...


Tom said...

you will not be so far connected from the dirt, as it circulates far above the earth's crust, and is certainly tracked into the plane in the grooves of shoes...and please, don't 'jump on an airplane', as it makes the flight attendants grumpy. Air beverage Question: coffee tea or something stronger?

Joanna said...

This is just a beautiful poem. It expresses so well my feelings about those plants we call vegetables. They are just so gorgeous--and they taste good too.
Thanks for sharing it and I hope you have a wonderful time away. I'll perhaps be suffering from Reya withdrawal.

Rose said...

Even the dirt is made from the hearts of long dead stars... The Universe started as energy that solidified in Hydrogen that slowly clumped together to form stars. It is only in the hearts of stars that Hydrogen can be transformed into the other elements. So everything that we are comes form the hearts of stars that died....

lakeviewer said...

Yes indeed, we are part of the physical world and will be returning to it in due time. In the meantime, we can fly.

Reya Mellicker said...

See Rosaria? You always have the voice of reason. I love that.

And yeah I know we all come from stardust but for the time being I rather like being an earth dweller.

Tom I think the coffee they serve on airplanes is stronger than Drano which is why I always have a beer instead, or some wine. Sometimes even a cocktail. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Nancy said...

I really related to that poem. We just came from the local farmer's market, where are the fruit and veggies were bursting with pride.

I like my feet on the ground. Flying always feels odd. I am grateful for the flights and grateful to be back in the dirt.

Have a safe and uneventful flight. See you Saturday at the "big watty" as my grandson calls Tahoe.

Reya Mellicker said...

Nancy - I just put your phone numbers on my phone. Can't wait!!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Being a veggie, this made me feel right at home! Have a great vacation!

Ronda Laveen said...

"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." I loved this part.

Have a great vacation. Yes, I think you will have withdrawals but am equally sure you will enjoy the break. You are such a prolific blogger that I am in awe of you. Happy packing and I look forward to your stories when you return.

Word ver is: sowbenar

willow said...

August is a month of fire! Looking forward to those glorious fall breezes. Godspeed, Reya, and have a wonderful trip.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Such a lovely poem.
...from dust we come and to dust we shall return... the continuous cycle.

I especially like the top photograph; the lighting is beautiful.

Hope computer withdrawal doesn't get to you... I miss it when I'm away from it... miss my connection to the world at large.

Happy trails! :-) Lizzy

California Girl said...

Sexiest portrait of vegetables I've ever read!

Have a great vacation.