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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Global Worming

by Julie Patton

I solved the problem of composting during the cold seasons by maintaining an indoor worm bin all year long. They, my breeders digest, live in the living room among a stand of ferns and various other houseplants. One gigabyte, gaggle, murder or bin of. Been since Genesis. At least.

They run for cover, dash into corners as if shocked. Light. Light. Light! As a penetrating bullet when I come to change their bedding, diaper of newspaper, and organic matter. They leap from their tiers like Olympic divers. Plop on the floor then scoop across the floor: like babies . . . A way from mother’s looming shadow. They become getaway car and driver. Red Wigglers. Unlike European Night Crawlers who are “strong enough to break the earth. No frigid waters or heat [or even distant continents]” are ever enough to keep them from get’n on or get’n it on. As I learned from friend and fellow greenie, Maurice Smalls, a giant of love for natural processes, vermicomposting, food security and all things nourishing for the earth: “All they do is eat, have sex all day and poop.”

I am reminded. A memory lesson. Faded version. From grade school days. Enough recall for my purposes here:

Even though worms may destroy my body; yet in my flesh shall I see God whom I shall behold and not another . . .

Something of this tone or spell I could easily “google” ( a way of worming, oogling through digital holes) but don’t bother. It is. A memory. Lesson. So let the break in such fabric, momentum of time. Be. Sufficient. As

word worms

scrawl crawl . . .

On the surface of things, scoop’d or coop’d up

One dash at a time they race me (or my shadow), tickle me trying to escape between my fingers, or out of the strainer I use to keep them from drowning in their own urine. Poop poop poop . . . They are always in an uprising. Some even take a knee. I’m surprised some enterprising rump of a human hasn’t raced to exploit them, put up a finish line and make them race across it and against each other. For applau$e. Or run them out of the White House lawn. Because they brown, black or red.

The meek shall inherit the Earth, have the last word, the counsel of living and dying language

porous secrets. Secreted inside my palm worms don’t arm and hand

guns. the skin of the world

mouth death          munch attention

scraps, chaos

writing writhes

epigeal creepy

global endings

scrounge into dirt

a worm body years long long long

living language

secreting secrets

I take counsel from humble origins, “theirs”

and “mine”

below the surface, or on

until written

out of life

Published: October 2020
Julie Patton

an extremophile fluid across many artistic borders enjoys making room, space, play pens, and meaningful sanctuary for others whether down and about in New York City B.C. (Before Covid); or in a mess-pot in Cleveland stewarding a landfill confiscated with First Nations People in mind.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.