Flumes Volume 1 Issue 1 - Page 11


Word Garden

By Tim Kahl

I went to check the soil in the library

to see if it was damp around the stacks,

the lovely spines of the biographies

poised for me to notice how straight they’ve

grown. Any one of those lives might spread

on to mine, a fence it could use to gain

a hold, a footing for the age I’m told

to live in. Look out! There goes

the age of reason over the cliff. Those

enlightenment fools have already been rolled.

It’s my job as teacher to introduce the age of

blatant interest to a roomful of students

who already know this better than me.

We hop along, our crazy dance of hope,

but it looks like we are going to drop down

to our knees — to plead, to look for

tracks, to check the soil around

the stacks and find one day a simple word

pushing up through the middle of a row of books

on money management, the currency

market, the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

It’s a word so simple that it must plant deep.

It does what it does without seeking reward

until it germinates and sprouts into

the head of an idealist

with enough courage to face the heat.