Image Poem Iraq

Image Poem Iraq is a book of poems about photographs I took during the Iraq War (before and after the U.S. invasion).  The book was Mary Bast’s idea; she’s an artist and poet in Gainesville, Florida, and works a lot with ekphrastic poetry (poems that are about—or are related to—visual images).
Image Poem Iraq (draft book cover)
Mary thought the Iraq photos might inspire poets to talk about the war, about the people depicted in the photos … about sadness, or love … Neither she nor I had any idea what poets might write about the images (or, more accurately, I think, about how they see the war).

So, this past fall and she and I recruited poets for the project… Read More »


by Joel Preston Smith

BioSteel® is a product created from an animal-animal transgenic combination. Scientists at Nexia Biotechnologies … isolated the gene for silk protein from a spider capable of spinning silk fibers—one of the strongest yet most resilient substances known—and inserted it in the genome of a goat’s egg prior to fertilization. When the transgenic female goats matured, they produced milk containing the protein from which spider silk is made. The fiber artificially created from this silk protein has several potentially valuable uses, such as making lightweight, strong, yet supple bulletproof vests.

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Sowing the Vine

From In Good Tilth magazine (July/August 2011)
Photos (on this website) by the Staff and Volunteers of the Homeless Garden Project, Santa Cruz, Calif.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. (Matthew 7:18; King James Version)

Janet O’Brien did what she was supposed to do—what any loving, desperate mother would do—and in less than 21 days will be homeless.

Simple, yet convoluted. It’s not supposed to be that way, of course. It’s an unspoken rule that narratives about the chaos that ultimately lands a person on the street must open with a list of moral breaches, self-destructive acts, tearful confessions … and conclude with… Read More »

Are biofuels fueling hunger?

From Sound Consumer magazine (Sept. 2010)

The U.S. Navy celebrated Earth Day this year by running a biofuels test on a supersonic F/A 18 Green Hornet fighter jet powered by a mixture of traditional jet fuel, and oil pressed from Camelina sativa, a relative of the mustard plant.

U.S. Navy celebrates Earth Day

The test underscores two trends in U.S. energy policy: an almost fanatical reliance on biofuels as a substitute for oil, and the misconception that anything ‘green’ is good—even if it sports Sidewinder missiles and makes the Hummer look fossil-fuel efficient.

Some experts on food security claim otherwise. Once touted as a panacea for America’s energy… Read More »

A White Vampire Story

From Gobshite Quarterly Winter 2004

In 1996, while I was working with a medical team treating refugees of the civil war in Rwanda, I made a habit of driving a 4-year-old Hutu child to tears every day for nearly a week straight. The truth is, I love children, and under ordinary circumstances, I think I’m a pretty decent person. But hers was a special case. I made it my mission to terrify this frail little girl at every available opportunity—so much so that when I woke up in the morning, before first light I had thought of a dozen ways to torment her.

A Hutu mother helps treat her daughter for pneumonia

Of course this wasn’t the main reason I was in Africa. I was working as a… Read More »

Asparagus Now

From In Good Tilth magazine: March/April 2010

“Thank you for taking the time to produce this film. I pray that it will spread like modified canola seed to all parts of our culture and open some eyse [sic].”

  — Email, from ‘Tyler’, to Deborah Koons Garcia, writer, producer and director of The Future of Food

“I was the East Coast distributor of ‘involved.’ I ate it, drank it, and breathed it … Then they killed Martin, Bobby, and they elected Tricky Dick twice, and people like you must think I’m miserable because I’m not involved anymore. Well, I’ve got news for you ... I have no more pain for anything. I gave at the… Read More »

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