by Judy Grahn


Gratitude to you for the food of our abundance

Campesinas y campesinos
gratitude to you gratitude to you
and to your ancestors
gratitude to you for the food of our flesh and bones
the nourishment, the steaming sustaining good nourishment
the sun and moon fine food that feeds me and feeds so much of the world

gratitude to you for maiz, maiz, maiz
red-yellow-blue-white corn smelling of morning noon and night,
mother of so much humanity
gratitude to you for red and green chiles, for bright pink pinto beans,
for the redbrown elixir of the heart, chocol'ate, chocol'ate, xocoatl
gratitude, gratitude, food bearing basket of hundreds of millions

indigenes de las Americas gratitude, gratitude to you for the food of our abundance
north American abundance stands on the wisdom of the ancestors
of indigenes, their co-creation with the spirits of potatoes and peanuts,
of tapioca roots and tomatoes, of white beans and squashes, of cranberries and strawberries, and the spirits of wind and the mountains, and sweet rain.

shame shame to the American corporate growers
who use NAFTA as their weapon, who use NAFTA to undermine you
farmers and drive you from your land
who use subsidies to undersell you, who drive you out of business,
who drive you to come north for cash, for cash, that inedible drug cash
to subsidize your farms so you can keep them

shame shame that Americans don't know this, don't recognize
the problem of immigration begins at home in the US nation,
in accumulations grown not from co-creation with spirit
but stolen with money and legal manipulation,
those cold old gold oppressors of the earth

to drive the mother people out of business is surely a grave grief sin
earth does not forgive all the sins we visit upon her
until we change our behavior, and then she devours them like compost

let us begin to say welcome, welcome, welcome
to your country, welcome again to the land of your ancestors
may you acquire your share of the abundance, the abundance, abundance
you have already provided to so many
may the earth be with you
may the people of all lands be with the earth
and be with you

The Marilyn Monroe Poem

I have come to claim
Marilyn Monroe's body
for the sake of my own.
dig it up, hand it over,
cram it in this paper sack.
hubba. hubba. hubba.
look at those luscious
long brown bones, that wide and crusty
pelvis. ha HA, oh she wanted so much to be serious

but she never stops smiling now.
Has she lost her mind?

Marilyn, be serious - they're taking
your picture, and they're taking the pictures
of eight young women in New York City
who murdered themselves for being pretty
by the same method as you, the very
next day, after you!
I have claimed their bodies too,
they smile up out of my paper sack
like brainless cinderellas.

the reporters are furious, they're asking
me questions
what right does a woman have
to Marilyn Monroe's body? and what
am I doing for lunch? They think I
mean to eat you. Their teeth are lurid
and they want to pose me, leaning
on the shovel, nude. Don't squint.

But when one of the reporters comes too close
I beat him, bust his camera
with your long, smooth thigh
and with your lovely knucklebone
I break his eye.

Long ago you wanted to write poems;
Be serious, Marilyn
I am going to take you in this paper sack
around the world, and
write on it: - the poems of Marilyn Monroe -
Dedicated to all princes,
the male poets who were so sorry to see you go,
before they had a crack at you.
They wept for you, and also
they wanted to stuff you
while you still had a little meat left
in useful places;
but they were too slow.

Now I shall take them my paper sack
and we shall act out a poem together:
"How would you like to see Marilyn Monroe,
in action, smiling, and without her clothes?"
We shall wait long enough to see them make familiar faces
and then I shall beat them with your skull.
hubba. hubba. hubba. hubba. hubba.
Marilyn, be serious
Today I have come to claim your body for my own.

Forthcoming in the collection, love belongs to those who do the feeling

They say she is veiled

They say she is veiled
and a mystery.   That is
one way of looking.
is that she is where
she always has been,   exactly in place,
and it is we,
we who are mystified,
we who are veiled
and without faces.

From The Queen of Wands


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