Holiday card

Bolivian PepperIn past years, I’ve sent holiday cards with a short letterpress poem. But this year, thinking about all those trees and not finding a poem I felt could justify that, I decided to create an online version here.

I was nudged further in this decision by finding this short video, Landfill Harmonic (thanks to Lynn Kiesewetter), about a youth orchestra in Paraguay whose young musicians play with instruments made from trash.

Recycled violins
“The world sends us garbage. We send back music.” Fabio Chavez, Orchestra director

This theme was instrumental (I really couldn’t resist–I tried, but I think it’s genetic) in my poem selection for the season:


Lemon rind, spines
and gnawed sheaths of artichoke,
coffee grounds, stale brownies, banana peels,
pit from the peach—intractable, but
thrown in anyway. Three months later,
turning the dirt, worms squirm
in the peach pit.

Meryl Natchez

If you only have 3 minutes, watch this version, but I think the 11-minute version is truly inspiring.  I hope you do, too.

And if you’re up for a few more cheerful musical offerings, here are a couple of links: A high school group having some fun with the Hallelujah chorus, and a cheerful 70’s group I completely missed at the time, via E-Verse Radio.

Happy Holidays

10 thoughts on “Holiday card

  1. “Gnawed sheaths of artichoke”

    I really like your poem but these words above cut right to the heart-
    the vision generator- and I was inside.

  2. Meryl and others, you (mostly) need not worry about trees being sacrificed for your printed matter. I am a letterpress printer and nearly all the paper I print on is made from recycled cotton rags (hence the name rag paper). You can also obtain quite nice paper made from bamboo, hemp, and other fibers. And I think any paper made today from wood comes from so-called pulp trees, grown expressly for that purpose.

  3. lovely! Shares some similarities to El Sisterna in Venezuela.
    I have seen recycling systems like that in India, too
    Thanks, Meryl

  4. Worms squirm in the peach pit–making music. Composting is a religion. The film is a moving antidote to a toxic season of violence.

  5. I watched the Landfill Harmonic, and I’m astounded by the power of human creativity and the capacity to serve humanity!

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