Lee’s Living Will, written by Lee Hayes to Pete Seeger’s wife:
If I should die before I wake
All my bone and sinew take
Put me in the compost pile
To decompose me for a while
Worms, water, sun will have their way,
Returning me to common clay
All that I am will feed the trees
The plants, the fishes in the seas
When radishes and corn you munch
You’ll be having me for lunch
And then excrete me with a grin
Chortling “There goes Lee again!”
To Be Of Use, excerpted from Circles on the Water, by Marge Peircy,
The people I love best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward
who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry,
and a person for work that is real.
Bless you all,
-- Cary Oshins Composting Specialist Rodale Institute firstname.lastname@example.org
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