Monday, January 4, 2016

So Sown

I, of the race that passes
The poetry and the essay,
The same impulse, bread, butter,
To think about something and
See it closely, carefully.
Thus wrote Sophie Jewett and
Marianne Boruch, more or less,
Considering sea cliffs and birdsong.
I tend too little, or too much
Wrote Christian Milne, singing of
Flora's children, food for us.

Before we cultivated food,
We cultivated names and songs,
And women began the long chain
Chanting the names of everything,
The transformation witnessing
Transformational witnessing.

Before we planted and researched
And combed cliffs, birds, flowers
Out of the open air and into pots
And furrows, furrows over furrows,
What would give us our daily bread
And meat and butter and beauty,
That last was a leftover memory
Of the all-providing proto-garden
That we simply had to get to know

Before we could plant the tree of life
Where we thought we could contain it
As our mothers thought they could
Contain us, wild sons and daughters,
Nursed on lullabies and wonder tales,
Unwittingly wordlings creating
The rule of rules we already
Were taking from their hands, their tongues,
Out of their mouths and into the mouths
Of the cultivars that have become
The rulers of the world of mothers,
Ants assiduously attending
The parasitic fungal gardens
Of language mimicking the trees
Of song, as if they were knowledge.

Before long, the mothers had
To persevere to be heard
Anymore above the birdsong,
The sea crashing against the cliffs,
The hard work of the garden,
The voices always clamoring
Of their young become infected
By the songs that sang once real things
Into food, food for thought
Unconstrained and ravening.
Go tell that to your angel
With the sword that guards our origin.

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