Dirty Little Love Poem

Sometimes, I envy the worms.
My bony elbows get in the way
of a good
and the scratchy bottoms of my feet impede a juicy,
slimy flow through the luscious dirt,
while I stay alive,
like them,
by turning plants
into compost
the billion microorganisms lining my insides
like kelp fronds waving on the ocean floor,
gently filtering.

So it is from a worm’s eye view,
Stretched flat in the dirt,
Where I’m captivated by this earth-surface substance
blanketing the molten rock center of the planet

At once graveyard, and banquet

an enormous, gaping mouth
swallowing up the rain and spitting up plants
that feed animals
that feed other animals
that feed the worms

and in my inadequate imitation of this flawless work,
the dirt is my sensual connection to the world around my brain
the delightful way it squishes between my toes
and massages my hands as they grow,
and grow,

it is the dough we knead and shape with shovels
baked by the sun and kept moist as it gives rise to new life

it is the lining and filler of the cracked-clay desert of my fingertips,
the gruff beard framing my kneecaps…

and at the end of a long day,
the trek from dirt
to dwelling
resembles an all-too-quick walk off an asphalt gangplank
into a cage my worm self could dry up and DIE in…

into this human-contrived world where the dirt
is an enemy
to be conquered and subdued,
covered with asphalt and buildings,
cars and flags
flattened and owned and bulldozed and sterilized

I climb the layers of disconnect like a prisoner—
concrete steps
to foundation
to plywood floor
to carpet
shedding socks and shoes, groping with toes on the synthetic surface,
searching for the cool squish…

and into our gleaming white fishbowl bathroom
with the should-be-spotless porcelain bathtub
to do my “civilized” human duty of washing off that working-class grime,

that magical animal lotion

and making myself “presentable, acceptable”

BUT, the exodus always clogs the drain
and when I step out after onto the plastic floor
the water on my feet mixes with the dirt
that shook free on the way in,
and makes a delicious mud,
and we’re both decorated again
with this reminder of the world we REALLY live in,
that just won’t go away,
no matter how many windshields and roofs and
antibacterial soaps we produce

“Presentable, acceptable” means living in denial.

It means putting our animal selves on trial
and ruling against us

It means squeegeeing our connections
squashing anything alive that finds its lost and shocked self inside our walls,
or our food
or our psyches,
demanding anything worth experiencing better come in a box
with a flashy label and a legally-binding disclaimer about any process that could possibly contaminate it.
Well, I don’t buy it.
I don’t buy that a cement-encased corporation
run in cubicles on computers
with gas-powered machines that pound and grind and suck the life out of my food,
or my shelter,
or my self-worth,
then sell it back to me new-and-improved has
So I’m steering clear of the toxic, radiating centerpieces of our
on-top-of-nature living rooms
for guidance about my health and well-being,

and instead roll through the wild dirt with the worms as my mentors,
soaking up some of their earth-toned answers.

Farmer Casey
A native Idahoan and dirt-worshipper with a passion for plants, this is her 3rd season as a market gardener and chicken co-conspirator, and her first as a beekeeper. She also runs a place-based landscaping company in the Boise area. For fun, she likes to make things out of things she grows (tomatillo salsa, elderberry wine, turnip art, etc.). Visit her in the garden, at the market, or weekly through her subscription farm.

Earthly Delights Farm is a subscription farm growing the old-fashioned way (with compost and chemical-free) in 1 acre of NW Boise dirt. Farmers, chickens, volunteers, bees, and worms work passionately together to grow a wide variety of hand-crafted veggies, fruits, herbs, and flowers, which we share with our members.

Volunteers always welcome
Veggies and eggs in exchange for work!…

earthly delights farm
greenSheRa@hotmail.com, (208) 284-3712
3801 N. Tamarack Drive, Boise, ID 83703

2 responses to “Dirty Little Love Poem

  1. what a beautiful and squirmy little poem!

  2. You are the shit Casey!!! Well done. I am in search of your pervert vegetable poem. Is it posted somewhere?

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