Thursday, July 9, 2015

Roundup -- ready?

My Better Half is a long-time Neil Young fan. I, on the other hand, prefer my Young as a chaser to Crosby, Stills and Nash. But, since she is my Better Half, I do my best to accommodate her, especially when she's wounded. This morning we were on the way to the clinic to get a cast put on a wrist that suffered a hairline fracture last night. The wrist was neither of mine. We'll skip the long story for now and jump to the part where she wanted to listen to her new Neil Young CD on the way to the clinic. There's no way I could say "No!" under the circumstances.

Neil Young + The Promise of the Real

While I was waiting for the cast to be cast, I read through the liner note lyrics. Subtlety is not one of the their stronger points. I just about completely agree with everything sung as well as most of the backstory to the lyrics. For a better understanding of why I have this perspective, check James Howard Kunstler's The Long Emergency and The Geography of Nowhere and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's assessment of roundup ready crops. All of this reinforces what I've been reading in Restoration Agriculture. We need a better system to supply our foods. One of these days we may have no defenses against the superbugs and superweeds we're producing. Then what?

Abandoned Farmhouse

By Ted Kooser 

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm—a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

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