In 2008, Popular Science Magazine did a "30 Greenest Cities in America" survey. Lexington, Kentucky was at number twenty-five for its intensive recycling program and the fact that its citizens rated the environment its third-greatest concern (behind only employment and public safety) - the highest ranking anybody gave it in their survey.

And who happens to live within an hour of Lexington, and gives regular lectures there? That's right, Wendell Berry. Coincidence? I don't think so. So whenever you're feeling like one person can't make a difference, think again.

Running with that, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to go to this website and read the poem you find there. I want you to do this because I love this little poetic manifesto by Wendell Berry, and I think you and I should find great comfort in rallying to it.

I know what you're like, though, because you are very much like myself... lazy, lazy, lazy... so I illegally re-posted it here. I did this because we need it, you and I, and the Revolution needs you.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

- By Wendell Berry


  1. :D Prettypretty and good. This poem has given me a new quote for my sidebar. (The Terry Pratchett one I had was good, but confusing.) The more you post stuff of his, the more I like this Wendell Berry fellow!


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