One More Poem from September 25th 2013. Copyright Doug Stuber

Bamboo leaves move at varying speeds in the first cool morning
of fall. Polluted air brings phlegm-throat cough treated by ginger
honey tea. Fruit peddlers, fish mongers and kitchen gadget
hawkers wither in Dae In market, heading straight downhill since
the bus station moved. Another retired man glides on his bike,
over old sidewalks, careful to avoid even older shoppers who
take a bus just to visit friends who make donuts, cut fish, clean
garlic. What when the “ajummas” finally get too old to bring farm
produce into Gwangju? There are none left in Seoul already. A
little pocket of non-corporate life disappears, leaving indigenous
peoples to be the last bastions of saving the planet for the rest
of us. Not surprising that this task would fall onto those who
by outward appearance already work hard for so little. They will
not be at the environmental round table, nor will we forgo golf and
movies to work the land. Economics may force more and more
down to agriculture, but who said agriculture was a low place? How
could they reduce human life to forcing poor farmers to buy seeds
every year? What next Monsanto? Ggachis next in Sycamores,
swoop down to snack on fallen rice seeds. Majestic as they are,
also beholden to what modern genetics is pushing through them.


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