Linda Russo

from “roots & scatters” (second crop)

New habitats more sensibly alive  (Anne Waldman)

simply an essential radish (from “radical” / having roots,
meaning to go to the origin in some way –

the seed you planted sprouted, the Terns took wing
(but mostly pecked & did this displaced shorebird running
at Koppel Farm, in Pullman, June two thousand and ten

meaning to go to the origin in some way
acting animal-like, breathing

she said: I think they make too much of dinosaurs

shopping centers and cheap food production
arable, more more arable land, the song of arable, of dams
making arable lands, the grazable acreage squeezing rabbits out

err-able, or likely to err we are

the isolated population becomes genetically bottlenecked
the loss of habitat magnifies the effect

going to survey walmart construction from the crest of pioneer hill

crowded and crabbed by for-profit abstraction of space
and powerless to exercise options
we turn to the analytic and generative capacity of poetry
or the malady of isolated movement

Palouse Places

Magpie Forest, Rose Creek, Smoot Hill farm
one of the last remnants of native Palouse shrub-steppe vegetation
valuable thickets of Douglas Hawthorne
a rare Cow Parsnip community
a well-preserved remnant of Idaho fescue grasslands
still the largest remnant of natural Palouse vegetation

Dear Koppel Farm Gardeners,

Just a word of encouragement. The weeds can be daunting this time of year – growing madly and entangling young sprouts and seedlings. But, take heart – your garden can survive!

The weeds are definitely worse in the early part of the summer when it first warms up. If you can take them in stride and beat back a part of them each weekend, your vegetables will flourish. The weeds calm down as the weather gets hotter and don’t take nearly as much effort to control.

You’ll never get all of the bindweed/morning glory out (roots can go down over 20 feet), so it works to just pull them up to get rid of the tops. The quack grass is best dug up and removed roots and all. Thistles keep coming back too, but can be chopped with a hoe – as can the lesser evil weeds.

Hang in there – bit by bit – it’s worth it!

Koppel Garden Board
June 22, 2011

on sagebrush flats –

sagebrush, sage grouse, sage sparrows & Washington ground squirrels
grasses and forbs (the flowers of the grasslands)

rabbits uniquely tolerating sagebrush toxins
burrowing in the deep soil of the sagebrush flats that farmers hate

within one month, his compost, having never been subjected either to grinding or screening
            became a fine, dark brown, friable, earthy material

   through whole plateaus or tepid shades and a dimming pulse –

greenness, not a character, or even a characteristic
        but a condition
          in the grass beneath the leaves   
red yellow orange
                                                        raining wet leaves

flies caught in a waft , a mulchy flat sweet updraft
greens melding into browns

     watch the lettuce leaf passing through one life stage to another
on my plate

will you not think me silly for sounding
the organic milk alarm?

or the trees hovering acquiescence against
our perpetual will to crowd?

captivity, salads, & morning kale

“we” are going to solve “nature’s” problems

a little walk in the a.m., take me
a little walk in the a.m., we shall
a little, little walk in the a.m., now get to bed


Arrested under the law of Lawn & Garden. Isolated ecologies.

Jana: “I finally stopped fighting the local soil.”

a “green business model” in place of a habitat

simple: man walking horse down Bishop Boulevard
complex: Walmart under construction beyond

10 x 10 foot plot: too small for a roto-tiller but large enough for a backache

Folk:    space is organized
            things are done

the poem can only partly (re)construct vis-à-vis place because language also comes to never entirely from that place

“the end of the [garden] / is the borders / of my being” – Maximus (sort of)

who are we to judge the bees
my room is a mess