Spirit - at the core of our lives, at the core of Nature, at the core of the Universe.

And, I would also suggest, at the core of science.


Oh autumn, when the geese head south
when sea lions play amid the kelp
and sunsets paint their grey-red feast
against the ocean's deepening west.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
when drippy drown down leaves fall lazily to earth
finding their rest in soil that's long been home
since earth was love, and love was loam.

Far twenty thousand years ago
this land was once scraped bare by ice
stripping to rock sweet Nature's face,
covering all with silence.

Yet to this place, as oceans warmed
came tiny seeds from distant plants
blown in by wind or dropped by dung,
minuscule prophets of a land that soon

would burst into a glorious symphony of colour,
green fragrances bursting into flower,
filling the earth with cedar and oak, giving birth
to a forest rich with hope

where cougar, bear and eagle gorge down
deep in the gorgeous flesh of salmon,
while camas and fawn lilies dance their hands
in the fruitful bounty of the land.

Such food, that Salish, Kwagiulth and Nuu'chah'nulth tribes
should feast so rich on nature's table -
herring, halibut, cranberries, salal,
salmon, mussels, blueberries, clams.

Such grace, that land so fertile from the leaves
and drowsy slumbers of ten thousand rotting summers
should recompose itself into a world so gay
that pumpkin and squash might hold their wedding day

down aisles packed tight with carrots and beets
where greens throw kisses at their feet
and broccoli sounds the organ's praise
while leeks sing forth their chorus.

"All hail to this union !" the onion cries
while the mange-tout brides-peas giggle delight,
"All hail to this union, in Gaia's church,
Who answers for this pair ?"

"We do !" a human couple calls,
young urban farmers from Victoria's core,
where wastelands that once grew shattered glass
now blossom with cukes and farming lore.

"We do !" they cry, and in delight
five thousand sweetcorns march into sight,
ten thousand lettuces on their arms,
waving and fluttering all their charms.

"We do !" the whole assembled world cries out
as worms come twirling roundabout,
"I announce thee wed !" the onion cries,
and pumpkin smiles, while squash, she dies.

That night the heavens did open wide
and fruits and vegetables everywhere
made love
with human farmers.

Many the kisses and deep unspoken thrills
as tendrils wrap and wombs are filled.
If talking dirty can get us this far,
We'll all soon be singing in Gaia's choir.


Meanwhile, on lonely market shelves,
dejected and sad in the dead neon light
the slave-caught fruits and veggies lie,
listening to the party.

Never for them the joy of marriage,
the bliss of an organic farmer's carriage.
Sprayed against parasites, bugs and decay,
they're snatched before ripe from the fields of their play.

Cram-packed fast tight into pitch-black holds
they're trucked vast distances 'cross the world
to meet the market's constant need
for flavour, variety and stomachs of greed.

Thus did the slavers find their buyers
- gentry of fashion, the latest in style -
just off the ship from Africa,
or poisoned from fields in Mexico.

Back in the soil, Gaia cries for their hurt
and silently grieves for their lives torn apart.
When local children feel such hunger
why can't those lands be theirs to wander ?

Soon chemical fields will lose their soil
as managers try to make them smile
with bio-injections and seedless genes,
- no more seed ancestors, let's bring in the clones.

This, then, is the bondage, from plant to tree,
that's needs our love to set it free.
What starts as a leaf that falls to the ground
can bring revolution, and freedom's sound.

So grow, and dance, and take delight
on the fruits' and veggies' wedding night.
If talking dirty can get us this far,
We'll all soon be singing in Gaia's choir.

Guy Dauncey,
Victoria, October, 1999