How Cool the Coral, A Poem by Chris Russell

I’d like to never have to worry about having enough food.

If money and debt weren’t issues

I’d live in a place where all the food I ever needed grew on bushes year round

in a sort of community harvest site that was free to the public,

where there was always plenty to go around,

and you always had plenty of time for harvesting with neighbors,

like it was part of the workday,

or paid for by the government,

like a siesta for other countries,

or the cattle business for Montana children

who round out their school day with apprenticeship.

I guess I just believe

no person should ever have to give up safety and security

in order to eat healthy or have direct access to fresh, free food.

But it’s sort of exciting that we’ve forgotten how to use our hands

when it comes to harvesting what we need most.

We are ripe for rediscovering something primal and ancient again,

and I think this something we are ready to reconnect with

is a deeper and broader sense of interconnectedness and responsibility

with and to and for all beings, including ourselves.

It’s totally ideal and a little extreme I know,

but I wish this were reason enough

to finally let currency and its function in institutions go.

I think it would be really hard to let go of a symbol we ascribe so much value to,

but I’d hope that would encourage us to be creative with ourselves

and seek out other ways of feeling good and being happy,

and for while I think things would be really scary,

like our sense of “me” would be threatened,

and we’d probably a lot of us feel like we’re being pulled out

into a sea of unknowing by an undertow we can’t stop.

But just think how cool that could be, how beautiful the coral would be

and how weightless and wild your body would feel,

providing you had some scuba gear to keep you going

and a waterproof cell phone to use to call to be picked up

when the air in the tanks ran out.

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