Dandelion seed

Stealth Bomber

            I make bombs.  Each is unique, perfect for its target.  Each is designed to deliver the beauty of truth and the truth of beauty. 
            I want beauty, of course, where none exists:  say an urban core trash-strewn with soggy mattresses, the coiled springs of beds, the clumps of old shoes, a broken-screen television, a refrigerator door.  I want a flash of red, a shaft of purple, a sudden burst of yellow to invade such a cityscape.  You might discover me in my basement, working seeds into clay and compost, one day a mixture of lemon mint and cosmos, another day zinnia and sunflowers.  Or I might be blowing the white and yolk from an egg, then sifting in the fine peat, some fertilizer and the tiny poppy and stiff purple coneflower seeds.  Or I might be going back to the roots of seed bombing, the first of them said to be condoms.  I load mine with the seeds of forget-me-not, dame’s rocket and baby’s breath. I will walk into the city, dressed in black.  I will bomb my enemy into fertility.
            But I also want truth where beauty has become artificial, and diversity where there is none.  Look at a well-manicured suburb, rank with chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, so uniform in its fescue that I must come to the rescue.  So you might visit my workshop and see me filling one hundred balloons with dandelion, white clover and thistle seeds.  A little helium for controlled elevation, and I’m ready to release a car load on a breezy day, my balloons the only color among the taupe houses, grey automobiles, and blue-green grasses.  The balloons land on lawns where they are popped by cats, dogs, children and time, and my seeds show the power of nature where it’s been so controlled, so expensively, for decades.
            And I want people to begin gardens.  My prescription:  biodegradable pill capsules, equal parts compost and peat, each one with just one or two seeds inside.  Suddenly, a tomato is reaching for the sky.  Basil is leafing, lacy cilantro is fanning before someone’s eyes.  And, next to spiky chives, a festoon of parsley.  A green bean might suddenly declare itself.  Or a pea vine.  And once the discovery is made, and a small taste of savory herb taken, a life might suddenly see a new horizon, the ground rising toward nurture.
            And what of the birds and bees and butterflies?  For them I build seed nests to hide in bushes, trees, fence lines.  Just a few clematis seeds can grow to vine, overtaking their hosts—blooming, attracting insects, and the birds who feed on them, who swoop like fighter pilots into the sea of white and purple, lavender and pink I mix so carefully.
            Where you see miserable cats and dogs, make a bomb of catnip, wheat, oats, and rye and see joy where sorrow was a narrow space between chain link fences and a clay-packed yard.
Become a seed bomber.  Once you deliver, nature will take over, wanting what you want:  color, diversity, renewal, sustenance.              These are natural states, and they are as close as your fingertips, ready to be thrown, to take flight, to ease into earth.  Begin again, seed bomber, rogue planter, beauty terrorist, nurturer of truth.


"Stealth Bomber" first appeared in Flint Hills Review









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Dandelion seed


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