©Poems of R.F.Mueller- Other Times, Other Thoughts
Working in my garden I hear the deep rumble
of a meatball muffler and see the fat teenager tooling slowly
past once more in his
big new jacked-up pickup. Grinning proudly,
he blows his melodious treble horn.
It's April 1, 1985 real time — or is this real time?
As he crosses the integer coordinate lines
cutting the hills twang, and another cycle is refuted.
But not the erosion cycle, which by definition
is only the latest in the land's decline.
Now that the red earth gullies of the
tuckahoe settlers are stabilized with locust
and Virginia pine, the trailer crowd is moving in.
Soon there'll be Saturday lawn mowers driving
out the whippoorwills, torn apart Datsuns strewn
on the grass and driveway cuts washing into the river.
Damn! Who forged these coordinates strung straight
across this precious nonconforming land?
—coordinates that without tending by the developer beast
would soon be tangled and broken by the feet of deer,
scrap like the balls of rusty woven wire and old tires that defile the ravines
what strange mechanical fauna will the future bring
before the last minerals are sucked from this ground,
before this occupied land is free again?
In the Country every event is highlighted, either negatively or positively, but not in the same way for everyone. Many rural inhabitants in Virginia had ancestors who, on descent from mountain homesteads, discovered the wheel. While this resulted in NASCAR, it also continues to fuel individual pride, to the extent that no outsider need fear a mechanical breakdown, since help is never more than a few passing vehicles away. A recognized byproduct is a familiarity of the locals with Nature, but which may appear like contempt to outsiders who are attracted to the beautiful hills and woods by other than their exploitation. Now, confronted by "Peak Oil", everyone may be forced to return to basics again!