Presidents and premiers Address the young ladies of the seminary
From outer space


Birds shimmy seeds into topknots of trees

Become strangler figs dangling toward gravity

To shelter the young girls of the seminary


Who sit in a circle of white pleats

And blue blazers and listen to their leaders’

Voices from outer space preaching —

Mutually assured destruction by land or sea


Who will they rocket next — a chimpanzee

Fruit flies, a dog they snatch from the street

We cultivate anomie — roaring at reality

With its roots in everything the king can see


One girl lacquers her hair into a torpedo


Who can we believe? We girls of the seed

Bed, we — young ladies of the seminary


I had just come to terms with fallout, and along comes Rachel Carson.

(Cartoon, Saturday Review)

1963 and the earth said a little less poison please

With rustling sounds through fallen leaves

The sparrows flitting understory

Said yes please less for me — the ant hoisting

His brother’s body in the nest said yes

And sharks feeding in the sea and fish eagles

Building cribs of mops and lawn chairs yes

And vultures who couldn’t stop eating

Could not stop eating


A little less 2-4-D — less DDT and BHC

A little less in our well a little less in our bloodstream

From the nerves of earthworms to the ovaries

Of thrush and their exquisite melodies

For everything eating and eaten — a little less poison please