Make me Now a Shovel of Your Peace: a poem of sorts

“A detective is forced to say it.
To ask about the feelings of people.”
-Hercule Poirot
They say “keep digging.
But when I do, they say “Don’t go there.”
Secrets abound.
This lineage and this life are more complicated than I’d expected.
But if we wall ourselves off into bitter, brittle compartments we will never break our cycles.
“Won’t someone think of the children?”
If we don’t face who we are, who our people are, how can we put any faith in our narratives at all?
And without a narrative, are we not just floating through time and space?
This is not a coherent piece, but a meditation on being a human shovel.
This is just my thoughts on the destruction of digging into our lives, and the possibilities it opens up.
Perhaps some things should be destroyed.
This is my hope and trust: that in the end, all will be revealed. Or at least enough, enough to understand…
Mother tongues.
Big beautiful noses.
What they carried.
7 am shots of Gin.
Doorstop Bibles, Xs on the line, good loves and bad loves, 13 kids and some turn out saner than others.
Humans built one cell at a time, forged in the fires of deportation and shipwreck and feasts and famines, pillaging and exploration. 14 sheep and a gun.
Exploring roots, belonging, community, belonging.
And the fact is, some wanted to flee.
The fact is, some countries were founded by orphans, criminals and warriors.
Some connections were broken on purpose.
The fact is, some of us can’t really ever outrun our Catholicism.
We can’t outrun our voices, our baggage, our ticking time-bombs.
Affiliations are all multi-faceted, slippery.
But I am finding this new context freeing.
The huntress rebel returns, reconnects, and fixes shit up.

urban foraging-morus and tilia

how delightful that food and medicine are literally all around us.


there are 3 types of mulberries that i know of-black, more like dark purple, white, and a hybrid which is kinda lavender.

the fruit does not last long at all so must be eaten as quickly as possible, which many kids don’t mind.


something about foraging is like scratching a millienium-old itch which is just not being addressed by our current lifestyle.

lyds w/ lavender hybrid mulberry

yes, these trees grew in-gasp-city soil. i would not say i am completely not worried about contamination in food. however, i am much more worried about the food in price rite than the mulberries in my neighborhhood. actually, i am much more worried about war, nuclear meltdowns, pcbs, pharmaceuticals, poverty and crap air quality than a little something that may be on this mulberry. especially since fruits are not major metal accumulators.

le harvest

additionally, we have been enjoying standing beneath lindens-a very common providence street tree-with honeybees buzzing all around, the smell and the flowerness somehow both stimulating and soothing.


interesting messages from plants growing in the city

does not follow directions.

*Some do not wish to grow plants in the city. They prefer their herbs live in some kind of country retreat, grow in ‘good’ soil. But what is “good soil” anyway? Most of our land has been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and othercides. The mountains are being mined, much farmland is mono cropped.  Shit is flowing like a toxic sludge-flood into the waterways and oceans. Humans have covered large amounts of our land with poison in order to kill stuff. At least the city soil is a known quantity-yeah, it sucks. But please, we must get rid of the idea of acres of  idyllic farmland where cheerful wild and domesticated animals run free together and plants grow happily in fluffy un-amended soil….it may happen but it is not the norm. Most plants don’t care. They grow. Don’t worry too much about it.

monocrop nightmare

*We can often find what we need to be well…or some of it. It’s outside. Go look for it, and if you don’t find it, maybe the looking was what you needed!

does not play well with others

*Plants want to grow. Plant a seed, or fill a bucket with dirt and wait for a seed to find you. Do not worry, do not fear failure. Noone cares if you don’t do a “Good” job in your relationship with plants. Just start! in fact, it as already started. Join!

observed behind a dumpster with a rose…behaving badly.

*Seeds which have been planted by a human hand do not have more value than those which have not. All plants have the same value in the universe, as all people do.

oppositional! needs supervision!

*As we are breaking the land, plants are fixing it. Through bioremediation. Or by fixing nitrogen. Merely providing cover. Nursing soil back to health. Making oxygen. Giving their own bodies back to the land, building up organic matter. Preventing erosion. And habitat for bugs! Feeding birds. Giving, building, healing. Plants are giving to you, have been all your life.


*Plants are sending us messages all the time. What message? Maybe not words. The medium is the message. What I mean is, their example is a message to us. Grow. Expand. Make pollen. Wherever you are. Perhaps you have not noticed. Perhaps now you will.

an offering

*Plants do not discriminate on the basis of class, race, gender, religion, sexuality, marital status, age, ass size, iq, political affiliations. Plants do not care where you are from. Plants do not care what you did last night, how many facebook friends you have, whether you’d like fries with that.

mentally disturbed

*Everywhere I look, plants are growing in a teaspoon of soil. They are not being watered, fertilized or coddled in any way. They break up the pavement in order to make a home, or find cracks which already exist and exploit them. Cracks in the sidewalk, the road, gutters and stumps and stone walls. Perhaps there are some cracks in your pavement? Perhaps you were thinking you should patch up your cracks? Perhaps you shouldn’t. Perhaps you will let plants in, let them bust you up and crack your walls a little more, and a little more until you are more crack than wall, and you forget where the cracks used to be, and can no longer discern where the pavement ends and where the plants begin…..

runs with scissors