The Caribbean Writer

Anthem to Ecology

Gabrielle DiLorenzo


I am a scavenger
a tireless procurer
of discarded goods
I am a refuse collector
I never walk with my head
For then
I would miss
the wealth of


that could be washed and used again
the pens
that still have another page in them
(to write)
the wet magazines
(that could be dried and read)
the twisted, misshapen silver utensils
(good for mixing paint)


I am a packrat
a hoarder
a lover of cast-off
You’ll find me bottoms up in a trash-bin
when I see old telephone wire
that could be twisted
into Christmas wreaths
cardboard for covering table-tops
or making Halloween costumes
I go ape over styrofoam
to nestle boxed appliances
for cutting up and glueing together
my own new styrofoam toys
Heaven is a junkyard
where all the loveliest refuse is strewn
in random haphazard beauty
all the fragments of cloth for making dolls
all the scrap rubber for silkscreen squeegees
all the tin cans to cut up and patch together
all yarn, twine, wood, old carpet
all old springs from defunct mattresses
rusted car-parts, lace corsets
ratty wigs for making paint-brushes
all jars, tubes, canisters and bottles,
pails, tubs, sticks and handles
all shoes, hinges, drawers and mirrors
be they shattered, stained or buried
would offer themselves to me
under a celestial sun
for my endless, delighted perusal


In heaven’s dump
I’d mix and match
dig and scratch
pile, stack and hatch
new ideas
If I . can’t re-form the world
the way I want it
then I ‘ll assemble trash
in new configurations


I am a scavenger
part dog, part vulture
I like to get my nose in it
I am a refuse collector
I never walk with my head
and my pockets are filled
with buttons
dirty coins
day-old bananas
(to make banana bread)
I take home leftovers
from cocktail socials


I am a pack-rat
My grandmother made panties from potato sacks!
“It is a shame
to let those rusty hubcaps
go to waste


Let’s turn them over
fill them with dirt
and plant roses.”


Copyright © Gabrielle DiLorenzo

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