Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gophers Suck

Gophers are God's creatures too, but when they invade my garden, they are asking for trouble. Yesterday I was all la-di-da about orb spiders; aren't they fabulous; aren't I great to admire them. Today I am totally pissed off at those rotten rodents: Gophers.

I raise dahlias. To the gopher, dahlias are like potatoes: Yum.

Found a gopher hole in the dahlias. Murder is once more on my mind. This old nature girl draws a line in the sand. I once beat a gopher to death with a shovel, myself and the neighbor lady. We laughed our as*es off: Old hippie and nurse, whacking away with our shovels long after the poor thing (ha) was dead. I think we were grossed out at what we were doing and what it said about our potential (not at all latent) for violence. Gophers deserve violence.

Apropos of that, I go tonight to my friendly neighborhood college town to do a featured-poet reading. Recovery has given me my poetry back. I had thought: too much insanity for so many years had killed what creativity I used to have. My poetry had been beaten to death by the shovel of John Barleycorn. Hallelujah for one more great gift of sobriety.

I am going to read this poem tonight for gophers everywhere who deserve to die:

The Dahlia Eater

I am the breath of life.
I breathe into the soil
and flowers bloom
where I have breathed.

Like God I touch the earth
and living things spring up.
I plunge dark matter
into the dirt and beauty
grows there.

Blood drips from my hands
and sweat drips into my eyes.
This living sacrifice
calls to the dahlias
and they rise from the dead.

When that creature
burrowed into my yard
I became something else.
I became that woman
from Babylon bent
on destruction.

I thrust poison into the soil,
my precious soil,
sifted so fine by that little
engineer, I could never
sift it so fine.

But did I feel awe? Did I feel awful
as I shoved the deadly pincher trap
into its perfect hole?
I felt bloodthirsty,
throbbing with godly vengeance.

Until I found
that soft brown body
terminally squeezed,
I never knew death
could be so hilarious.

Chris Alba (c) 2009


Karen said...

This one leaves me with a mixture of emotions, most of which can be encapsulated in one word: recognition. I can see myself in both the creative spirit and the murderous one. Not proud of that, and again, there's the recognition.

Love the poem - glad your creativity has returned.

Tall Kay said...

You have described my battle with slugs...I didn't want to tell you that when you were saying nice things about them. :o)

lakeviewer said...

Hi Chris, thanks for visiting me and inviting me over. Your frustration with the gophers came right through in the poem, as well as your mixed feelings about killing or wanting to kill those creatures. I've been there!

Madison said...

Now that should scare off anybody thinking of robbing your house. Woman with shovel, ready to kill.

Mary Christine said...


Syd said...

I can't kill little things. I would rather trap them and take them somewhere else.

Gophers Limited said...

Hi Chris,
Great poem - so full of sentiment, I wonder if I can post it on my web site and redirect back to your blog. By the way I am a professional gopher catcher and use a humane trapping method instead of poisons. If you are interested please see my site
Happy gardening,

enchantedoak said...

Hi, Syd:
See the gophers limited blog above. He/she has got some cool trap stuff on that blog and on the website. BTW, I said no to the post so I don't have anyone coming here to tell me what a bloodthirsty moron I am! I already feel that way.