Fall is here and I have been craving poetry.
My roommate Sarah says there is a word for the feeling you get–that swell of emotions you experience–when you are listening to a particular song. There should be an equivalent word for reading poetry, I think. I am not sure how I would describe it–awe? joy? wonder? But it’s when you arrive at the core of a poem, the centerboard on which the rest of the words rest, and it strikes you in the heart, so hard it’s almost unbearable. For a moment I always think I might cry; it’s just so, so lovely.
Morgan, the poem below does that for me. I hope it does for you too.
“Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front”
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant Sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion–put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the field.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is highest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
P.S. I will send you the dispatch photos soon! I PROMISE!