For all who produce and sustain Lexpomo
In a large church in 2013 and I think in Washington County
—at least as it plays in memory—
Bill Moyers asks Wendell Berry, vocal pitch rising,
“Wendell, what is the solution?”
Straight up, he wanted Wendell to specify the solution
to the suffering humans are causing our earth and each other.
Wendell says, his own voice changing a little, becoming
that mildly expasperated voice of a great teacher asked something silly,
“There IS no solution, Bill. Only small things. Do small things.”
I started separating out my compost to
take the right stuff to some neighborhood chickens.
Washed the egg shells and toasted them.
Kept the white potatoes and citrus out of it.
Walked a bucket around the corner every couple of days.
Small small small.
These 30 poems, too—small. Smaller than I thought, setting out.
But put all their sister and brother poems together and the poem energy grows.
Poets not harming the world—no—
poets working out their commitments and sorrows, their pushing back.
“There’s a world of pleasure in contrariness,” Wendell said.
And he also said, “To be patient in an emergency is a terrible trial.”
Small contrariness, with patience: that’s my wish for all.
Keep going. Keep going right into the emergency.