Machinery of Life

Oh little worm
I cry for you, a brave
blue collar hero
in the machinery of life.

You can’t know
that tiny, iridescent spheres
of deadly plastic are
concealed in the soil

you eat so
conscientiously 
and you may not know
that your little life

keeps the lungs
of our planet-body
healthy and fit.
Oh little worm

my tears imitate
the tiny plastic bits
and also the glistening
blue planet orb. 

Falling into you
my body's fluid,
this useless regret
is my only medicine.

I will die and feed
you, knowing that
I am part plastic too.
I am poison, 

even in death.

Written for Ingrid’s Earthweal Prompt – A Poetry that Does Not Compromise

20 thoughts on “Machinery of Life

  1. Wow! This week is bringing some fantastic poems. Lovely to contemplate the little worm, so integral to the loosening of earth – yet even belowground impacted by humans and our horrible plastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God, I don’t know what it is this week, but the poems I’ve been reading on WP are bringing tears in my eyes lately. This is one of them, and it speaks to me especially on an existential thought of life; but perhaps also slightly solipsistic in how we are selfish and do not think much of what is considered outside from ourselves. I love that thought since I think we are inherently selfish and most try to break away from it, but it’s cyclic. We are our own demise, what is worse is that who we are causing harm to may not even know it. I loved the fragility and honesty in these lines:

    “I will die and feed
    you, knowing that
    I am part plastic too.
    I am poison,

    even in death.”

    It’s a harsh truth, but it’s a cycle of life too. Beautifully and hauntingly written, your work is so moving and chilling in how you express and describe an idea, especially the idea of our own death in the making and the climate change battle. My hat is off to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Imagine – a species sentient enough to master its world as well as a little of its own nature; and then wise up so slowly and too late to the knowledge that mastery is a tool of infinite destruction. I love the intimacy here with the soil-maker, even if it acknowledges that it can only be a damaged relation. Can there be a cycle of life with transits so infected, damaged, spoiled? The worst aberrancy would be for life to retrofit itself to the human so that we can center the spoil singing, mine all mine, mine all mine. – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I do love how absolutely embedded our relationships are in this poem. The delicate concern and destruction all rolled in the perfect human form. A really good write. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I could see the worm carefully picking it’s way through the soul, avoiding the plastic. But the plastic particles became more and more, until the poor worm was picking through the plastic to find what little soil remains, like the ball pit at chucky cheese

    Liked by 1 person

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