Although I am not hopeful about the future of our species or even the planet as we know it, in my poetry I take a lighter view and play with thoughts that make me laugh or astound me. I hope readers also have fun with these poems, which are mostly jokes and yet are all serious.
A WASTED PLACE
On what some would call vacant
land, my German shepherd used to chase
woodchucks and incautious young rabbits.
A trespasser, I gathered crabapple
blossoms in spring and red velvet
staghorn sumac berries in fall.
I saw the rare little white or whorled
milkweed progress to feathered seed.
Each in their seasons came
trillium, Solomon’s seal, spiderwort,
evening lychnis, bladder campion,
phlox and primrose and chicory,
multitudes of others, and above
them red-winged blackbirds trilled
over cherries and mulberries.
Summer grasses bloomed high as
my eyes alongside fragrant
white and yellow sweet clover,
migrants brought to America by other
migrants to make hay meadows.
Far above hawks float and crows flap.
When night again came early and
goldfinches actively gathered thistle seeds,
when migrating robins and flickers
thickened the air over glowing
masses of goldenrod and boneset,
the land’s owners began to make
what they named “improvements.”
They hired newer migrants, who
worked cheap, keeping secrets as
they mowed and hacked the land
to flat shreds and splinters, then
left their plastic trash and beer cans.
On the prairie soil, said to be Earth’s
most fertile, they followed orders,
planting car dealerships and used
car lots, advertised by flags.
My meadow and woods had been useless,
an anomaly in need of development and
a cash crop of steel and glass.
Americans say waste is a shame.