ONE WHEEL MANY SPOKES FARM
WE COULD TURN THIS, IF WE WOULD
--Suite for Lars Clausen
TRAVELING ON 97
Start with the Omelets
with Lars and Anne,
at their Mom's house,
lace-making, Temari-ball artist
Danish immigrant cook--
filling my glass
juice in a tall glass,
omelets from free-range
chickens, raised by Lars.
Start there, talking
negative-waste small farming
north of Wenatchee,
past Entiat to Chelan and Manson.
Start with 500 chickens.
Call it what it is, vision.
You can have 3000 chickens
and still harvest those eggs
by hand, within the law.
The dream says, Believe what you see.
Lars says, Eat what you believe.
Gone a week, up and down mountains.
Time on skis with grandkids.
Time with a visionary chicken farmer.
Time in the car with myself.
Stop the car.
Get out and photograph sage
loaded in hoarfrost.
Driving into poems.
Driving out of America.
Away from the Marches--
Turning towards Ellensburg,
return in the middle of time,
off of Highway 2 over Blewett,
to taking 97--
Back and forth of 97
South in a snow-storm,
I climb the hill, pull off into snow shoulder
and stop, just before cresting summit
and down into Kittitas Valley.
I've been gathering eggs, filming chickens
with hand-held video camera, talking
with my friend and writer, Lars Clausen.
Chicken farming therapist.
Former Lutheran pastor, adventurer,
missioned with Inuit village near Nome,
living with gratefulness given to him
from Inter-arctic peoples,
one-wheel man, cross-country cyclist,
carrier of justice, working to calm-it-down,
turn-it-down, waste-not energy-of-joy.
Trying to hit that note.
To ride with it, riding into song.
That one, un-repeatable note.
Lars Clausen, visionary chicken farmer, is also a writer and therapist who works with memory re-consolidation. He is a former Lutheran pastor and served with the Inuit community near Nome, Alaska. He is an Eagle Scout and a family man with a long marriage to Anne.
RETURN TO THE OMELETS
Omelets with the double yolk
before the camera, stuffed with mushroom
cheese and onion, not overpowering
home-made happy hen hollandaise sauce.
Toast from fresh bread. Butter and jam.
Stepping out of the car, looking into Valley,
half foot of fresh snow over my shoes,
boots full of chicken shit wrapped in plastic bag
in back of car. Cattle on country road
below, a long-bed truck. I'll stop
in Ellensburg, see my old teacher,
D.C., 86, Romantics professor,
who gave me all, hand-held
through graduate school, delivered
to the best teachers--Wordsworth's
spots of time right here in this lookout--
Tintern Abbey to C. S. Lewis,
from grief observed to surprised by joy,
John Claire, Coleridge, walking
and praying, crossing Alps, Hazlitt
in that slim, pink, hard-covered volume
all of it commissioning me to stop,
get out of the car--to empty myself
before going in. To be present.
To stop for this--
in snow mountain morning
big enough to see one who shaped
the early days.
I'm not just
with Lars and the chickens, either.
I'm driving in the dark with Tommy Orange,
There There, and the voices of young urban Indians,
Oakland Indians, the Indian Center, not only urban,
but Inter-net connected. Not the baseball team. Dene Oxendene,
Cali-talking Oakland voices. Regalia.
White guns printed out and sold.
Money on the table I'm responsible for.
On the way off Blewett I repeat
the being born song on Disc 5.
Laughing at white boys talking snow,
talking blunt, through and out the back,
When kids are themselves talking grown-up
cause they're taking as much care as grownups themselves.
OpanViola Victoria Bearshield
who chooses to expand instead of contract.
Roar and rumble. Sandy Ridge.
There's a bird for every hole in him.
If the chicken thing becomes a national model...
Baby chicks form inside the shell.
21 days. As they hatch,
they absorb the yoke
and can survive 3 days.
1000 chickens in the mail.
The US Post Office was created for baby chicks.
Compost mirroring itself
chicken shit mixed with wood chips
Mirrored in the stomach--
keep it healthy, keep it pink
I put the camera on the valley floor
and talk into a plastic notebook.
We have 7 billion people on this planet. Every day we throw away 30% of all food—enough to feed an additional 2 billion people. Solving Food Waste is number three out of the top 80 solutions for a more sustainable world, but among individuals, it’s number one. Let’s make this happen—let’s train new farmers and build more FARMS IN A BOX. Let’s keep giving and working until the planet smiles back at us. Lars Clausen
THIS DIDN'T START OUT TO BE ABOUT CHICKENS
Returning from the chickens
and the filming, making poor decisions
on clothes, leaving my Carhartt
sheepherding coat in the car
along with old ski gloves,
shivering stationary in light jacket
holding the camera stationary
blood settling in the absence of movement.
On the dining room table,
what look to be Christmas ornaments
from somewhere between stars and angels,
I pick one from the bowl
filling my hand. Where am I?
Lars’ mother, 83,
enters the room and sees my confusion.
Temari Balls. Japanese.
Staying open, after being opened
may be more grace and gift
than discipline and practice.
Living and practicing.
She starts to tell me,
then leaves the room,
returning minutes later
carrying a gallery and a workshop.
Originating in China and introduced to Japan
in the 7th century. Handball in Japanese.
Originally constructed from old kimonos.
Pieces of silk wadded to form a ball,
wrapped in strips of fabric,
becoming an art form over time.
Japanese upper classes, noble women in competition.
Deep loyalty and friendship.
Brilliant colors, wishing the recipient a brilliant life.
Temari given to children from parents
on New Year’s Day, filled with good wishes
and noisemakers. Bells.
I misspell it for days,
transpose consonants m and r
transpose vowels too
making a mess
Temporary pins and permanent threads.
Red and white together is good luck.
Learned in school
Comes from the wrap-around in the kimono.
I’ve come to see the son, and find the mother.
Speak to her and green the planet
Mother can we stay with you a little longer.
With your permission we renew
our broken vows to each other and the planet.
Composting and the river of life.
Compost is more interesting
than blossoms it produces.
Lars picks up the dead chicken
with the missing head.
An owl got in.
Strikes like this.
Only takes the head.
Flies quiet with serrated feathers.
Beak and talons working like scissors,
snapping the neck,
only taking the head.
What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence
of children, and the feeble mentality of the average adult. Freud
Of course my friends are fuel. Ones
I need, ones here, waiting. Finding each other.
Reading Keats and Ron Powers,
Negative Capability and Nobody Cares About Crazy People.
Being on the mountain with children skiing.
End with Li Po and chickens
Li Po looking in the mirror
looking at all that grey frozen grass
from his bed the moonlight
on his wooden floor appearing as frost
Banished immortal one with many names,
What happens to our children
is not always the survival of the fittest.
Wasting ourselves in the glut of all this food
we feed chickens better than we feed ourselves.
This isn't just about better eggs, Lars says.
Solving food waste ranks number three
in the world in lowering atmospheric CO2.
Happy Hens small chicken farm
is out to make a better planet.
Read Paul Hawken. There is no plan.
Personal food waste ranks number one.
Poor people don't waste food
but food doesn't get to them.
Small Farm in a Box is what Lars calls it--
the way to better eggs--
tastiest, tastier, and more.
And making a profit.
Drawdown. There has been no plan.
The Silver Bullet solution is corrupt
Paul Hawken says. But ideas surpass corruption.
Once you have a problem statement
you can pay attention to the solution.
Envision this, Lars says,
Feed all the people.
Do you know Candace Pert,
he asks. I don't.
Goddess of Neuroscience
Candace Pert and the molecules of emotion
Biophysics professor leaving us too soon.
Why you feel the way you feel
Listen up. Emotions run every system of your body.
Emotions hold us together.
When to divide, when not to. Peptides.
Your body is your subconscious mind.
Goddess of Neuroscience.
BodyMind, no hyphen.
Maybe it won't work out
but maybe seeing if it does
will be the best adventure ever.
She says this after discovering
the elusive opiate receptor.
He holds quiet, waiting
Nothing outside of this hold
Will reach through his shield
One note, bright silence
Brought forth from recessed song breath
Not announced as hope
16 January--31 January 2019
16 January--31 January 2019
Video Three: Writer and therapist Lars Clausen combines memory re-consolidation and spirituality through a program he calls ICE--while developing a negative waste chicken farm called Happy Hens, who produce wholesome natural eggs, while being fed on residual food waste. This video combines some of everything wholesome, including interviews with Ruth Gerhard.
A month ago, he'd never heard of him. Or Drawdown. He didn't have a name in his book. He's there now, known, and spelled correctly: Paul Hawken. Paul Hawken, drawdown. Two plosive ds. Vowels before and after. Lars Clausen brought up his name. Lars Clausen, the ICE man. Reconsolidated memory. Small chicken farmer. No Food Waste, pasture raised chickens. The healthiest eggs from the healthiest chickens. Lars implementing Drawdown--what Paul Hawken says is necessary. Best ever climate change report. The only one. Lars Clausen is one.
Drawdown, the playbook. Educating girls. Women and girls. Women smallholders. Family planning. Re-sequestering carbon. Words we choose. Words we avoid. Military force and money. Water from wells. Placing the fate of the world in the hands of a few people no one knows very well. Solutions. Burn-out born from game over.
Solutions. What was that point in time, when devotion intervened? You know--me too--this isn't adequate to the task at hand. 99.9% of the world's people are totally dis-engaged.
Watching YouTube, taking notes.
Rice farmers teaching rice farmers. With less water, paddies coming our way, erratic rainfall. Make the anaerobic aerobic again. Give up flood irrigation, direct planting. Destroy weeds. Save the water.
Yesterday he was in the mountains with Keats. You don't want a poet who has a purpose on you, who wants you to think a certain way. It had been three weeks since he'd been to the chicken farm. Since then, his closest friend from Vietnam, who died in December had been memorialized. He had travelled to be there. It grounded him. A 40-year conversation. He'd taken grandkids skiing and winter camping. He'd made those movies of the chickens. What else? He'd made Crème Brule out of the chicken eggs. Three times. He found himself studying yokes. Looking at the yokes in the one bowl and the separated whites in the other. He'd compared the eggs, texture and taste with eggs from chicken factories and eggs from pasture-raised hens. He'd read those letters of Keats, too. How many times had he read Keats' letters, trying to get deeper into Negative Capability, trying to open it up. To understand how much the young Keats had opened himself to. How he'd emptied himself first, in order to be open. At home there had been record amounts of snow. Snow he couldn't keep shoveled from his driveway. Every time he walked through the garage, putting the shovel away, he'd pass his work boots, the ones he had worn to the chicken farm. They were still full of chicken shit and mud. He had tried to clean them up by wearing them to shovel snow, but it hadn't worked. And here they were, taking him back to the chicken farm and the happy hens. Keats is dead at 25. He had read Keats at 25. Three times that now. Carry that Negative Capability, Keats says. Oh, John. A thanks so much in saying, Still? Can it be done? Are we this human?
Standing in the egg section at Fred Meyer, he reaches for a dozen eggs, reading the label, Vital Times. They would be Lars' competitive companions. Fliers inside the carton read Sunshine in a shell. The tone of superiority and ethics combined. He confesses to himself he would have done the same thing. Sunshine in a shell. Because our girls on grass spend a significant amount of time outdoors...He had seen his farmer-therapist friend make similar joy-responses. Give the nod to joy. There were differences too. What did these pasture-raised chickens eat, the ones producing eggs sold at Safeway and Fred Meyer? Fliers didn't say anything about their food. He had seen the food the happy hens ate, and he knew it was healthier, and had greater variety than what anyone in his family ate. His friend had asked him, too. How did you learn all this in a day-and-a-half? Well, he said, yes, but it's not that simple. This is compelling stuff. It didn't let go. He didn't know himself what it meant. It was supposed to have something to do with poetry. Beautiful Thing, William Carlos Williams wrote 75 years ago. Beautiful Betty is the Bird of the Month in Vital Times' flier. More than a little off--over the top. They strut their stuff...be careful, be careful...Not from the Frozen Food Section. What does Betty eat? It doesn't say. He knew what Happy Hens ate. His friend's hens ate better than he did.
That's how his day had gone. Leaving the house for the dental office this morning, he had looked for a book of poems to go with his notebook. He called it his shield. His armor, his protection. He had picked up the book of Rukeyser's, The Life of Poetry. Opens it randomly. Rukeyser as Rukeyser. Quoting Emerson. Poetry sounding like tin pans. Chicken shit everywhere.
He had ten minutes in the waiting room. Not even enough time to write the Emerson quotation he had randomly opened to. At first he miss-took it for Rukeyser's. It sounded so much like her. He had underlined it, too, sometime in the past. Now it came back and hit him. Did it jar his teeth? Something. Writing fast, the hygienist called him in before he could finish. He wrote it in his notebook when he came home. He wondered--What belonged to Rukeyser and what belonged to Emerson? Was it all one? He wondered how all this happened. What did poetry have to do with anyof it. Poetry sounding like tin pans banging. People despising the poet should make him happy. The temperature of things. Drawdown. Rukeyser quoting Emerson. Despising the poem he has taught them well. Rukeyser. Emerson. Paul Hawken. Drawdown. Pasture-raised chickens. No food waste.
Let me carry away the memory, Coleridge, of having pressed your hand!"--Keats writes, foreshadows.
Writing a note to Lars. Chicken farmer, memory therapist, writer. That's a beautiful thing. Yesterday was a yoking day. Post-mountain day, listening to Paul Hawken on YouTube. Reading a mss. novel by a friend, a Lutheran pastor in Pennsylvania. I made another Creme Brule with yolks from another pasture-raised chicken farm. Lars and Anne in my head--and reading Keats before turning in. I wanted to recall some prose images from the day, to carry into this morning. Tired. I wasn't expecting much, but a flood of images break forth. Whew, I say to self, going to bed with a Keats biography, by Stanley Plumly, my senior by half-a-decade, on the cusp of 80. Posthumous Keats. I'm drifting now, falling asleep, and I arrive at this final fragment, which I leave you with this morning, from the poet John Keats:
And thou be conscience-calmed--see here it is--I hold it towards you.
Happy Hens Chicken Farm
Chelan, Wa--Yakima, Wa
16 January--10 February 2019