Poet’s Corner: In Praise of Dirt


Beneath our notice, background, base —

primal field, the force that molds us;

this planet’s still our refuge place —

gravity still hugs and holds us.

We occupy the middle ground,

between the sky and living earth;

both large and small, the patterns found

reflect their edgy, spiral birth.

Space-wide, great galaxies unfurled;

uncounted stars like grains of sand …

and our enormous little world —

a mere blue speck of fertile land.

Between two particles of soil,

small invisible relations

rise and fall, feast, party and toil —

complex cultures, cities, nations …

Slow dancing in the world’s embrace,

entwined with what we hold most dear —

when all is gone without a trace,

the soil will know that we were here.

Each bite, each breath, each word we say

is an exchange, a worldly trade;

fresh starlight mixed with common clay —

that’s how the human heart is made …

It’s light that guides us when we roam,

and dirt’s true love that calls us home.

Rebecca Gilbert is a farmer at Native Earth Teaching Farm, and

writes a haiku almost every day.