Darkness, sunlight and a little holy spit
don't explain an onion with its rose windows
and presentiment of the sublime,
a green shoot growing out of rock,
or the endless farewells of trees.
Wild grasses don't grow just to feed sheep,
hold down the soil or keep stones from rolling,
they're meant to be seen, give joy, break the heart.
But potatoes hardly have a way of knowing.
They sense if is is raining or not,
how much sunlight or darkness they have,
not which wind is blowing or if there are crows
or red-winged blackbirds overhead.
They are unaware of the battles of worms.
the nightmares of moles, underground humpings-
they do not sleep or wonder. Sometimes
I hear them call me "mister" from the ditch.
Workers outside my window in Long Island
cut potatoes in pieces, bury them, water them.
Each part is likely to sprout and flower.
No one so lordly not to envy that.
'Potato Song' by Stanley Moss from the 1986 Long Island Poets collection by The Permanent Press in Sag Harbor. Reprinted with publisher's permission.
Long Island Poets can be purchased from The Permanent Press.