. The Shortfalls of Empirical Knowledge Sorry, Iowa. Each night is different from all previous And therefore not the same as those to come. The ways of Nature can be devious: They test experience and leave us numb To expectations we would otherwise Have nurtured and applied to form our plans. One only needs to gaze into the skies To know the gift of foresight isn’t Man’s. Stuff happens, as they say, with little warning And makes the best among us doubt ourselves— We still have no idea, come the morning, For what rare mineral the miner delves. More riches lie in Heaven than on Earth Is what the worthy clerics like to say, But though we tithe for all that we are worth, It’s rare that they’ll give us the time of day. The one thing that our lives have taught us well Is that face-value doesn’t make the coin. Though chips may fall right where they always fell, Tell that to someone stranded in Des Moines. . . The Long View Now spring is here, and we are still alive. We know this by the pitch of mower engines That’s shifting as they doppler down the drive. In this old world of honorable mentions, It’s up to us to mark the changing seasons With alterations in our attitude. It’s not a secret why we all have reasons To keep ourselves from posing in the nude: For one thing, we don’t think we’re good enough For aught but rather unattractive pictures; And for another, when we’re in the buff We’re sensitive to certain social strictures That matter to prospective future spouses. It’s best to keep our record clean and clear And not keep too much baggage in our houses If we expect to live another year. Someday we hope to settle down for good, Raise kids and chickens, grow a few tomatoes, And be a pillar of the neighborhood. A lesser plan than this is small potatoes. There’s only so much anyone can carry While climbing slopes of legendary hills, And it’s a very grave mistake to marry For short-term gains or transitory thrills. . . C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.