Think of this as a prologue. A prologue with a poem, just like those occasionally good, but mostly tenuously interesting fantasy novels I am addicted to.
Like many interesting stories, I am going to begin in the middle with a main character (me) with pre-existing prejudices and the other main agent (my garden and all encompassed therein) and work outward.
Needless to say, that this will be a non-linear tale, perhaps not entirely unlike Manuel deLanda’s1000 Years of Nonlinear History, but neither will it be fully like that either. Yes, there will be history weeds, seeds, and human interactions. There will also be complex systems and outcomes writhing about each other, and a healthy dose of me screaming impotently at the hail-laden heavens.
But more than anything, this will be a multi-post paean to my intellectual, but very real garden.
Before we get to the poem, let me ‘splain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up:
My garden consists of 300 square feet split in two with a patch of lawn between them. This leads to a surprising amount of weeds. Also, after a day at work, I really don’t want to battle the mosquitoes for the back yard and at lunch I don’t want to brave the sun. Mornings are right out.
But last night, I ventured out, swathed in mosquito banquet-hindering clothes to weed.
I battled star thistles, regular thistles, grasses. I triumphed over some pig weed. I came to a stalemate with the purslane, a formidable opponent. But progress was being made. While the war will continue for years, frontlines of onions, beets, and peas marked my battles won.
And then my bare feet and un-gloved hands came into wet, slimy contact with what would allow many of those plant foes, to live for another day.
Most dastardly slime, my pain made animate.
Long nights do I spend armed with sticks and beer
Hunting your visage. I cannot imitate
A true predator, that is utterly clear.
But you foul creature, destroyer of worlds,
Stalk silently around the new green stalk.
Gnashing my teeth at the ground it unfurls,
A string of profanities some would mock.
“I hate you rat-bastards,” I oft proclaim.
Waging a war based on past radishes gone,
Beans rendered dead, for all this you should be slain
For if you are not, you rampage ’til dawn.
Thus for you garden slugs, destruction awaits
Until I can find some suitable gates.