poems: 4 for John

     John McCamant died May 6, 2015 at the age of 82.  See here.

1.  A rainbow of difficult flowers
                        for John McCamant
At a meeting of over a hundred, the gardener
sunflowers bending down their heads
in hot afternoons
faculty and students
spoke of Chile
before the hammering rain
against the CIA which murdered Allende
and disappeared so many
so many flowers
who would have thought
death would have undone
purple or gold potatoes
John said to his colleagues –
ripped from the soil
perhaps you will not vote
for winter
turning mountain soil
as Andean farmers
you will not oppose
the CIA   for murder
you will vote
orange seeds of the purple
against the distortion of what we do
I myself once
White Mountain Farm
believed distinguished papers
 mother grain
El Mercurio
the Times of Guatemala
that print
heads cut off
the opposite of the truth
2. Solace
Once when I was alone
the farmer had me over
fed me dinner from the garden
talked me
through the night
3.   Seed
John put me on to Vandana Shiva
Indian farmers cultivating a thousand 
against 6 corporations
like Inca quinoa farmers
sued them
Texas rice
whose curse
extinguishes basmatis
haunts those who would bring it
4.  The business
John’s farmer partner
raised cows as friends
slow eyes
shit plop ping
eating wild grass
but had to kill them
sold the beef
to be eaten
over the winter
by urban folks like me