Sunday, December 28, 2014


Wendell Berry doesn't title most of his poems. I'm not sure what you'd call this only that as I was reading this out loud to mom I started to puddle up at about the point of there being a new world once we've been forced to come to our senses. Of every MBA graduate disappeared tomorrow who would really notice. But try and get along without the small farmers, mechanics, cooks and craftsmen. Good luck with that nightmare.

As if suddenly, little towns
where people once lived all
their lives in the same houses
now fill with strangers who
don't bother to speak or wave.
Life is a lonely business.
Gloss it how you will,
plaster it over with plastic
bullshit as you please,
ours has been a brutal
history, punishing without
regret whatever or whomever
belonged or threatened to belong,
in place, converting the land
to poverty and money any
way the quickest. Now
after the long invasion
of alien species, including
our own, in a time of endangered
species, including our own,
we face the hard way, no choice
but to do better. After the brief
cataclysm of "cheap"
oil and coal has long
passed, along with the global
economy, the global village,
the hoards who go everywhere
and live nowhere, after
the long relearning, the long
suffering, the homecoming
that must follow, maybe there
will be a new world
of native communities again:
plants, animals, humans,
soils, stones, stories,
songs, all belonging
to such small, once known
and forgotten, officially unknown
and exploited, beautiful places
such as this, where despite
all we have done wrong
the light of October
falls through the turning leaves.
The leaves die and fall,
making wealth in the ground,
making in the ground the
only real material wealth,
Ignoring our paltry dream
of omniscience merely human,
the knowing old land
has lighted the woodland's edges
with the last flowers of the year,
the tiny asters once known
here as end-of summer.

Wendell Berry 2008.And yeah, I'm still trying to find something to be upbeat about. Good luck with that.

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