Feed The Truth

At this moment, you’re host to about 50 trillion cells, and each of them is really a sentient being in its own right. They all act together as a community, implementing the monumental collaboration you call your body. — Rob Brezsny

It’s hard to grasp that I am a colony

of sentient beings.  Not until a few days after

drinking a delicious pineapple jugo at two a.m.

on the outskirts of Riobamba

did I have my first brutal lesson.

Don’t drink the water means

stay away from ice, as well,

but when you are half asleep

and thirsty on a slow bus,

sweet cold juice tastes like ambrosia.

It takes at least two days

for the fierce war to break out:

foreign amoebic armies

bombing indiscriminately

to stake their claim on intestines.

I’m sure the warmongers would call

my diarrhea collateral damage.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink,

they damn near killed me.

So who is me?  It’s not the face

of the woman in the mirror,

who sometimes seems a stranger.

Perhaps it is a shifting constellation of power

that urges me to

feed my gut flora precisely

because when the “good” ones lose their grip,

the “bad” ones summon unspeakable grief

or lethargy, and a craving

for sugar, more salty snacks

to cement their dominion.

That is how “I” know the bad guys

are hoisting their flag, confident

in their eventual overthrow.

Who is it who knows to drink kombucha,

eat kimchi and pickles?

Fermented food feeds joy,

makes me laugh

and loving.  And which wise colony

deliberately seeks asparagus

and broccoli, leeks and

cauliflower, the prebiotics

creating harmony and balance?

Close your eyes when you approach

me, and perhaps your colonies

and mine can meet without distraction.

Perhaps we can finally know

who we really are.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: grasp

Nursery Rhyming

“Take care of your friends.  You never have to feel lonely ever again.” — Jeroen Raes 1

There are all of these mirrors, you see

and songs that identify head, shoulders, knees and toes,

knees and toes.  We teach

our young to trust appearances

but the dark truth is:

we are mysterious creatures,

a walking bacterial colony

having a human experience.

We never mention our gut flora

although we urge handwashing with antibacterial

soap, proving how little we understand

our actual identities.

Our bacteria crave the foods we are drawn to,

and it is easier to be a slave

to a sugar addict

than to step up and feed

the flora that keep us well.

Can you imagine a board book

for toddlers that describes

the 100 trillion bacteria

that we really are?

I would hope it includes starshine

and waves of energy,

all the invisible lifelines

that make us feel whole,

heart-spanning

constellations working optimally,

spiderwebs of connection

and a song about how the doors

of the heart go open and shut

all life long.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: creature

1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=Af5qUxl1ktI