by Erina Booker

“Accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.”
Tao Te Ching, 63

I’ve found a prized space
in my new apartment block
it’s called the Rubbish Room,
bins in line along the walls
varied coloured lids for diverse junk
red: biodegradables
blue: cardboard and paper
yellow: glass, plastic, foil, and cans

garbage trucks measure
reject bins with mixed contents
accept only those correctly loaded

I winnow garbage like chaff from grain
separate plastic from cardboard tissue boxes
staples from documents
paper labels from cans

a dance of the bins begins
I turn and lift, dip from one to the other
criss-cross the room
clang percussive lids
sort mistakes so all will be accepted
by the maw of haulage

I spin this straw to gold
protect respect
this piece of
precious planet Earth.

©Erina Booker

PAINTING: Grandmother’s Country by Michelle Possum Nungurrayi.

Rubbish Room

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As far back as I remember, I have experienced  a deep connection with, and responsibility to, the natural world. Many incidents have become the “touchstones” of my life. Though I had wanted to write about my part in healing the natural world, I was drawn to the new experience of having, in my recent, downsized home,  a designated room for garbage, sorted into recycling bins. From childhood, over six decades ago, I was taught to dispose of rubbish into designated places, never to throw rubbish from car windows, and not litter the environment. Now, the disposal of rubbish has even greater significance. This led me to write a poem on this subject.

Erina for Silver Birch 2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erina Booker is a poet based on Sydney, Australia. Her life revolves around poetry, from publishing books and contributing to journals, to recitals at public events and presentations at seminars. She actively supports poetry in her local community. Erina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Composition as well as a Graduate Degree in Counseling. She knows the value of words and the pauses between them.