In Praise of Garbage


It lies there forgotten,

once useful and marketable,

without flags,


of an everyday routine,

frontiers of oblivion,

cast away

in the beauties where nature luxuriates.

Nobody loved it.

Nobody has glorified its destiny.

Nobody extolled its past.

Just use.

Just use,

ill-use as well.

And now that it is rotting

like cherubs of our houses


with details

of the marks of our barbarity

upon it,

and this with a smell of dead friendship

defends itself against the harm that it came to it.

Without a home,

much of it together in disorder

among that other forgotten one -

nature -

Dachau for the non-human

with a signature from men.

An exceptionally human achievement,

all our own,

loaded with perversion.


The garbage -

I rehabilitate it.

It is mine.

I’m its friend.

I see it.

I do not hate it.

It’s clear enough:

it is dreaming

of the memory of Love,

it is fermenting

without men

that day to come

with our debts.


Garbage, a great poem,

nature’s children of our own,

if it smells and looks ugly,

our duty is forbearance and pity

for we killed the angels of the department stores.

But more powerful is the stench

of our own evil

which killed the Vision of responsibility

in the oily empty tin

and on that screen with empty figures of another time.


Pollution, this joy to behold,

the waste of life,

let us not cease to love it.

With it we grew up,

with it we credited the future

brotherly to nature.

Yet this feather down

somehow doesn’t go.

Decent recycling

suits it better -

the same goes for us.

One Law, Harmony, Love,

in everything this – the Unique -

and we along with it

so abundant amid the living things.

And we are there in the pollutants

and at the meal of industry we are there.

In a nature which calms

let us meet again

with lyres and chemicals,

plants, birds and animals,

with children and fairytales.

Thus let us convince the pollutants

of their great ancestry,

great from a noble lineage

of desires, machines, money.

Christ healed lepers.

So then let us remedy the pollutants,

protecting them from disease,

from the toxic shoot of our desires -

of the plants and the flowers,

the bee-swarm of children and their food,

and let us, kindly,

see the stones as a nest,

the dwelling-place of beauty spread out on the mineral.

But for all these things,

let us not hate

the pollutants,

the other half of ourselves.

God is

in the garbage also.


(Photograph by wikipaintings)