Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Legacy of Asphalt

The Awakening the Dreamer symposium is only two days away. If you are near our mountain I hope you will join us from 9:30-4 on Saturday. Dave and Bonnie Collacutt will be our facilitators. Here is a poem Dave sent to get us in the mood:

The Legacy of Asphalt

Imagine a past in which the future
is sustainable
in which vibrant communities
of bacteria and chickens
and worms and horses
and people and plants
can thrive in the sunshine
and enjoy the coolness
of a bright harvest moon.
That past is now,
that future is coming
whether or not we are ready for it.

Imagine small communities of people
congregating to scheme the demise of big oil,
of big everything;
banding together to preserve skills
and vegetables
that would have been forgotten,
paved over in the rush toward
asphalt prairie parkinglots
surrounding big-box buildings
where souls and entire futures,
even hairdryers and
canned cornfructose confections
were sold so cheaply to comatose consumers
that the future didn't even matter.

The ancient past was merely sunshine
stuffed into deep domed vaults
buried over eons and now
broken into and plundered;
corrupted into plastic bags and shrinkwrap
to contain our metamobile dreams
of distant fruits and cheap furnishings
whisked clear all the way from China and Chile-
the spoils of cheap oil
churning a blistering wake
through recent history
enabling skyscrapers and SUVs
to diminish our horizons;
to globalize our every whim
into distant carnage and dead soldiers
on the far side of nowhere.

Forests felled, fragile webs of life
smeared away under a thin layer
of asphalt and convenience;
the spread of civilization
or is it a disease?
Suburban slime mold suppurating
over quickly forgotten landscapes
where complex communities of creatures
used to sustain each other-
What future has this planet?

Imagine small communities of people
banding together to cooperate and learn from weeds
how to undo the legacy of asphalt,
to learn from worms and nematodes
how to overcome the shortsighted salvation
bestowed on us by Walmart and McDonalds and Monsanto-
big bellied priests of the big box, big oil temple of doom
that cannot survive the future
that we, brandishing hope,
will call into beautiful existence
from the fertile ashes of yesterday.

Roy Foster