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Departments

Poetry
FLEDGLINGS
As though there were another world as though
they come from there.

OLD MAN RIVER
If the fish in his head thought, they'd think
they were his thoughts.

BLACKBIRD SPRING SONG
Males up north early, the red notes
of their epaulettes.

-- William Heyen

JOE'S DREAM
Not Goethe's big dream with its power
to move the hearts of men but a small one
of feeding a child in the Gambian village
of children where the oldest is fifteen
and many have HIV -- and Pastor Joe,
who lives in DeKalb, the middle of the USA
where taxes eat up the farmers
and developers eat up the land, looks out
at the acres waiting for bobcats and asphalt
and McMansions as the builders raise cash
and sees fallow fields that could, for the two
or three years in between, raise grain;
talks the planners into short-term land-loan,
scavenges seed from the grain silos,
recruits the ex-farmer, in real estate now,
and church friends to till and sow 80 acres of wheat
that will complete the protein needed in Gambia,
where the children are being taught to grow
fruits and vegetables -- Joe looks out
at emptiness and hunger
and dreams a small, short-term, doable dream.

-- Robin Chapman

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OnEarth. Fall 2005
Copyright 2005 by the Natural Resources Defense Council