real plants real poems

A celebration and examination of real food, real farming. real people! And poetry, always poetry.

The History of Your Nomenclature May 30, 2016

Filed under: poetry,Uncategorized — realplantsrealpoems @ 3:05 pm

All origins in plants. All ideas in plants.

I think I will grow legs and travel across this continent. I think I will build a ship and travel across this ocean.

Then I will come back one day and tell you, tell you of the wonders I have seen.

I came back one day when I was very old. No one had seen my face in 39 years—that’s how long my beard was. I’d walked all over and opened many doors. I lived in many places and talked with many people. I recorded and built and created and wrote down things like scarification. I etched my name into the soil’s seed bank. I returned to tell you stories.

But you silenced me before I even said a word. I felt your quiet wrap around when I set foot on that strange foreign land; a completely new place, a place where I would be first–and the first thing I saw was you.

You’d been walking that way for years
You had multiplied, scarified, communed; you’d created
You were all over the land; you were the land

It was marked
Your children told me stories,
in all the different places
they ended up to be

And you were there waiting for me when I returned. Except I don’t know how long it was to you—one collective breath, none, yesterday, all blades of grass at once, society of trees wet with rain. Time is just a string you play with, a string you stitch your seeds to.

Your love is a letter which contains a seed.

People trade your children for money and from them make rich bars of nutrients. They wrap them in colored papers with markings to say,

this is very special, our society values this
This has meaning.
just get this urge to go up to people and,
hold them lightly around their shoulders and say,
I knew this plant when I was just a child. These seed pods grew up over my head my whole life. It was just the thing to do, to pick them and dry them and crush them and grind them and mix them with hot water and drink them. It was just my life. You are eating my life.


I am not a college boy

Filed under: poetry,Uncategorized — realplantsrealpoems @ 3:02 pm

The natural ebb and flow of the zucchini plant:
There is nothing natural about it. I make you do what I want when I want. Your genes belong to me.

Don’t ever tell me it’s about feeding the people.
All rivers don’t lead to the ocean no more.
But you can’t blame it on the almond farmers.
Give it to me, this exotic lovely wonderful ovary,
at any time at any place on any day.
It isn’t even about you,
it’s an oil issue
a human greed issue
a 24/7 bright lights fluorescent sort of issue


Well I can eat beef three times a day seven days a week if I want to.
cheap protein and plenty of it,
it’s my goddamn right.
ain’t nobody gonna tell me how to eat.
ain’t nobody gonna take away my rights.
Hold still and let me Christianize you.


It all comes down to cows, corn, soybeans and
our hoarder-like tendencies.
oh and wheat & rice…
Hey did you know that forbidden black rice
(white is absence of this)
has anthocyanins? Those lovely deep purple pigmentations,
your red cells breathe it up all rich and full—


wait what were we talking about?
Oh yes, our addiction to binaries, yields, and The Heart of Darkness.
The rise of the annual grain crop across cultures and countercultures.
The introduction of ruminants to North American forests.
Never focus on reversing anything. All we have is now; move forward.
Are we Christianized yet?


I believe in you young millennial,
Do you think the Salinas valley will shut down in our lifetime?
Was it ever good?
Little plant, what can you tell me about ancient Nicaraguan/Nigerian/Ethiopian/Peruvian/Salish/Zapotec/all the things/
ethnobotanical history?
Don’t ever stop appreciating each other.


pansexual; yes it is raining again December 28, 2014

Filed under: poetry,Uncategorized — realplantsrealpoems @ 3:37 pm

Someone asks,
What is prayer?
every day I kiss my knees.
Pansexual, environment as deity.

ten dollar words, about the soil.
does it work? is it working?
how many times have i gotten to know you?
how many times did we sit across from one another,

engaging in this ritual of celebrating our mortality and dependance.
some bread perhaps, or coffee.

when you harvest vegetables & fruits, & flowers &
seeds too,
usually you’ll end up on your knees,
over & over
if you want to eat you’ll end up on your knees.

you thought your whole life you never prayed but look — listen:
who more than you knows where they came from?
it’s a miracle our agendas ever match up at all.
at this time, in this space, we are at equilibrium.
stitch perfect pitch perfect.