Reporting from Bagram, Afghanistan…

The act of tilling the soil is as old as farming itself. The tools may be extraordinarily complex or simple with no moving parts. Such that we may interpret, what follows is one observer’s attempt at explaining the complex made simple. Note the reference to three photos. The first is a plow and plower at rest, with his wife nearby. The second and third photo show the work of finding potatoes in a crop field at harvest time.

I offer science made art:

Of stars born and raised and exploded into
Atoms of simple mass gain, and join
Thus heavy Dalton aggregates coalesce, to wit
Dost a planet is made, oxygen, silica and iron
Form, and so is the birth of electron flux.

Of eruptions born and tectonic lulls and fire
Made manifest of thunderous noise, and slide
Past one another mortising, to wit
Dost the surface is cleaved, rock and stone
Form, and so is the birth of a mountain.


Of weather torments and intensity and Newton
Made of movements off the side, and rolling
Down the hill of time in overt velocity, to wit
Dost the resting point is found, between floodings
Form, and so is the birth of a soil made clay.

Of hydrogen small and charged and given up
Made of proton after proton, and split
Apart from the illite in quick cadence, to wit
Dost carried away in solution, a slight change of
Form, and so is the birth of cation sums.

Of footsteps found in ancient man and discovery
Made of valley and plain and space, and thus
A bowl sits in the center here, and there, to wit
Dost is imprint, is nomad as history, a firmament
Form, and so is the birth of my ancestor.

Of spring and summer energy filling the field
Made of sands and silts and clays and earthly
Worms and rhizospheric bacteria, to wit
Dost a hydrogen pump against a Casparian strip
Form, and so is the birth of a green leaf.

Of tuber from another set as simple sugared seed
Made of light, water, carbon, hydrogen, and other
Stardust from eons a priori in phloem, to wit
Dost in cell amyloplasts grown large, in summer
Form, and so is the birth of my survival.

Of this moment, an etching of a pivot drawn tight
Made of kinetics and slithering too and fro in soil
Pushed aside, as a plow stirs the matrix, to wit
Dost is Life manifest once more, in the fall
Form, and so is the birth of ascendant humanity.