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“My Lover, Monsanto” and Other Poems

My Lover, Monsanto

My lover, Monsanto,
who owns the garden
who does me well
by choosing the seeds,
is out in the fields,
sweeping the dead
so that our love
can grow some more.

Who owns the garden?
my lover, Monsanto,
who is out in the fields
poisoning the soil
so the food will grow.

Who does me well?
my lover Monsanto of course,
who is out in the fields
as I lie here in waiting
for the August winds
to blow in the September harvest.

“By choosing the seeds,”
my lover Monsanto tells me,
“we take the soil by force,
grow gigantic vegetables,
and feed the entire world.”

Out in the fields still,
my lover Monsanto makes me wait
in our chambers, naked and ready
to ripen, fall, and be carried,
just like the crop,
by the strong hands
that facilitate the harvester.

“Sweeping the dead away,”
my lover Monsanto tells me,
“is easier after the sun
has cooked the bodies down
to a skin so thin
that even the slightest wind
could take them away
if it wanted to.”

“So that our love can grow some more,”
he tells me, stuffing my mouth
with his freshly washed broccoli.
“So that our love can grow some more,”
I echo back, as I devour his corn,
The very thing that replaced
the prairie milkweed,
and emptied the skies
of nearly every, last monarch.


Hey You, Cartographer!

Hey you! You
with the paper, pencils, and rulers,
You with the simple
lines of reason
Yes, you!
You claim to know me,
claim to love me,


You’ve taken it all:
my watery skin, my loamy lungs,
the labor and lives
of my lovers,
even the bloody sand, I never
expected that one,
but there you go,
nevermind my wheezing,
nevermind my overheating heart:
you’ve taken what’s yours,
supposedly God given

Except —

You left the rotting floor boards
of your abandoned,
temporary homes,
left your crumbling
saw mills and oil pipelines,
left the pus-filled bodies
of buffalo beneath my plains,
and pelicans across my beaches.

You also,
in your haste to claim it all
before some imaginary other does,
desert dust,
the broken bones of ancestors,
and every last fault line –

Oh, how you must hate them,
those lines that won’t
give in to the image of perfection
you and your bosses
so desire to make.
I will never be the you
you have of me in your mind.
We are like star-crossed lovers,
but you know how those stories
always end.

And so, I have decided it’s time,
time to catapult you and your bosses.
This romance was never good
for either of us anyway.
I entered it naively
thinking you had all of our best
interests in mind.
I leave you much wiser,
with my fault lines displayed proudly
for everyone to see.


The Remains – December 14th, 2003

After they captured,
and took him away to be shaved
somewhere near Baghdad,
for a moment many in the world
believed the lies behind the war
has suddenly become truths.

Somehow, it didn’t matter
that the dead sunflowers and broken farm equipment
lay scattered beneath a cloudy sky.

Or that the mud bricked bedroom
the man had slept in while in hiding
was filled with the products
of fading empires:
Dove, Lipton, Raid, AK-47, U.S. dollars.

No, it didn’t seem to faze the believers,
the way the old man’s Qur’an
and a poster of Noah’s Ark
remained alongside dirty blankets,
fluorescent strip lights,
and even a half finished
tomato salad.

All of this was mere evidence
of justice finally had,
nevermind the continuing stream of bombs
dropping from the clouds above,
or the occasional waft
of bloody and rotting remains
coming from the ground below –
what mattered was the strands
of the old man’s scraggly, gray beard
scattered across the floor,
a sign of to so many of good things to come.


Nathan G. Thompson is an activist, writer, and lover of the Earth from St. Paul, Minnesota. A long time member of Clouds in Water Zen Center, he received the dharma name Tokugo (Devotion to Enlightenment) in 2008. He is the author of the spiritual and social justice blog Dangerous Harvests, and has written articles for a variety of online and print publications, including a regular column at the webzine Life as a Human.

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