Dirt Mantra

Dirt Mantra

I come from the dirt –

a garden of wind chimes,

the germinating morning glories

still hibernating in wet paper towels,

rows of toothache plant

and tatsoi greens,

the tomatillos that invited themselves to the soil,

the weed-quick tomatoes,

the salvia, the San Pedro.

I come from

the unturned compost,

the dropped guavas

that are overripe, bursting

with seeds

and dizzy-sweet pulp,

the buzzing Japanese beetles dodging

the beak of the chicken like acrobats.

From tree stumps, and ripped-out car seats,

and bonfires, and bubbling hookah,

and peeling the leaf wrapper

from gooseberries.

From the walnut-fat spider,

dragging her body through the orange tree

with lazy toothpick legs.

I come from

the autumn cup squash,

yawning up

from the dirt,

stretching an arm here,


to every corner of this cramped little garden.

I come from yarrow:

stretching my medicine across your tongue.

I am a sprout from a watermelon seed. I am the tiny broccolini,

the inhalation of wet mulch.

The burning of scrap wood,

the rich scattering of ashes, the smoke.

I am the Swiss chard bolting – just look at me and my red!

I come from the dirt.


One Comment

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  1. I love this poem. mud is home :]

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