Tuesday, September 1, 2020


Proverbs of a Small Farm

If the raccoon gnaws ten percent of the corn,

don't set a trap, plant another row.

If spinach goes to seed too soon,

try it twice, then plant chard.

Don't fight the cabbage worms

if store-bought is good and cheap.

Do very little "on principle".

life is hard enough as it is.

Honor the weeds that love your land

and call them flowers, they seed themselves.

When phoebes nest in the barn, you have no choice

but to leave the big door open also to thieves.

Many things will grow in the North Country

that they don't grow,

but then it's hard to give away your surplus

that they won't eat.

Nature is profligate, usury is natural,

but you must not pocket the increase.

One spring when the snow melts, my asparagus

will finally be big enough for someone else to eat.

Paul Goodman
Collected Poems
Random House, 1974

edited by Taylor Stoehr with a birds-eye view of Paul Goodman
from his good friend George Dennison who well understood the
ways & means of poets, anarchists, educators and philosophers
of all stripes, which Goodman certainly was.