Curses to William Gaud

As nourishment is extracted from the earth
more and more input
is needed
to coax plant-growth
from the soil.
On the other side
of the equation
calculating the benefit
of food by calorie
without consideration
of nutrimental quality
leaves all bodies lacking.

Curses to William Gaud
for coining the term “Green Revolution.”
It’s a term that we need to co-opt,
but let’s leave that for later.
Presented as humanitarian
by its proponents,
his doctrine
is clearly
in its implementation
neither that
nor planetarian.

As with so many
of the projects
of industrial society,
quantitatively oriented as they are,
Gaud’s Green Revolution
is neither sustainable
nor generative,
but our Green Revolution
most certainly is.

The Clock-Time Regime

The unceasing extraction of profit
from any possible corner of life
so clearly does not align
with the way the universe works.Even from the perspective
of someone guided
by a mechanistic,
solely rational
view of the world
it shouldn’t make much sense.
There is only so much
we can take
without reciprocation
before everything is gone.

Most if not all
of the physical planetary frontiers
have been colonized and exploited.
As the nonphysical “resources”
are being rapidly devoured
in their place,
they’ve now set their sights
on Mars.
“Time’s running out,”
they say.
They’re trying to take
that from us too.

But I was recently out in the desert
living by the rhythm of the sun—
wake at first light,
sleep when it gets dark.
In the absence of mechanical time
and the anxiety and stress
it engenders,
I was keenly aware
of the impact
of clock-time
on my body

Without the clock’s ticking
tensions melted away.
The rhythm
of my breathing
Geologic velocities
and plant-life tempos
informed my daily flow,
but as the time to return
to clock-time world approached
I found myself
already within its grasp
preemptively tensing up
and already marching
to its vitality diminishing
and always insistent ticks
and never-ceasing tocks.
Living once again
under the clock-time regime,
my entire being
is in a state of rebellion.
What can I do
to escape
its terrible grip

As we grapple with
and pin down
our hoped for futures,
each crushing us in its
perspectival vise,
can we not afford
to let go
of the notion
that we are running out
of time?
Are our changing perspectives
not worthy
of discounting
our childish compulsion
to act quickly
and decisively?
And in the face
of the existential horror
of global ecological catastrophe
and the very real possibility
of civilizational collapse
can we not
ease up
on the accelerator
and humbly rest
in not-knowing?


An Offering of Gratitude

After offering a portion
of my son’s
and newly cut hair
to the forest,
I rest in reciprocal gratitude.
Lying down
upon this hollow-feeling bed
of lovingly accumulated forest duff
surrounded by plants
and cool grasses
a new song begins
its slow process
of unfurling.
Like newly emergent flowers
this song’s breaking buds
reach out
to the bees of thought
that will shape their contours.
I sense the songs presence
and catch glimmers of meaning.
Melody enters,
permeating the soils
of my bodily and energetic being.
As the song rises
up my spiny stem,
its slowly bursting buds
form into racemes
of multi-branched flowering stalks
set with small, green
star-flowered carriers
of ecological intelligence
that express themselves
through this throat
that is no longer mine alone.
Pollination occurs.
Seeds begin their quickening,
ripening in response
to the calling
of other parts
of the one great heart
that light their way,
and with encouraging
cheeps, trills, and warbles
little birds consume
the red, saponaceous berries
bursting with song seed
and spread them
far and wide.