In June two oak fell,
rot in the roots
Chainsaw in September
in three days one tree
bucked and quartered in the shed
sour fresh inner oak-wood smell
the main trunk splits
"like opening a book" (J. Tecklin)
And slightly humping oak leaves
deer muzzle and kick it,
one sort, Alice Eastwood
pink and poison;
Two yellow, edulus
"edible and choice."
only I got just so slightly sick --
Taste all, and hand the knowledge down.
* The entire poem is an allusion to Ezra Pound's "The flavors of the peach and the apricot are not lost from generation to generation. Neither are they transmitted by book learning."
* Quoting Snyder from the same volume: "Know the flowers."
* Know the flowers, by what name? And which system?
* Can there exist a botany without books & book learning?
* Foragers only trust other foragers who have tried things for themselves. Who know the where and the what and the how of plants.
* All foragers all moralists.
* All botany is ethnobotany / all botany is culture.
* Find your own flavours and hand them down to the next generation.
* "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake