by Philip Fried
For a container with more panache than a pot,
Consider repurposing a snifter that still
Bears the aura of brandy and invest
In an upscale model—Mikasa Flame d’Ore,
Anchor Hocking, Libbey Ounce Embassy—
Rather than rinsing out a pickle jar.
Avoid fretting over the types of plants
Or ceramic figures—Abu Sayyaf style,
Haqqani variety—that will populate
Your micro-environment. Instead, adopt
A theme like woodland ambush or explosion
Of growth in an urban setting, and the design
Elements will fall into place. Select
Leaves suitable for camouflage, and heighten
The drama by cutting headlines into leaf-
Like shapes, triangular, oval, and lanceolate.
Then, if you opted for ample Tupperware
And have the room, critters like fire-belly newts
And paradise fish can be both pet and totem.
And if you mix soil and peat moss with nervous sweat,
The growing medium can be prepared at home.
Fenced-off small backyards provide abundant
Rocks, gravel, sticks, wood, seedpods, bark, and similar
Items to be shaped according to bias
And bent, while tape loops can simulate a crescendo
Of public alerts, from low to imminent.
Finally, to achieve the goal—creating
A self-sufficient and-perpetuating
System that satisfies your need—please note
A true Terrorium should be tightly closed.
* * *
Philip Fried’s most recent book, Early/Late: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, 2011), was called “skillful and memorable” by Publishers Weekly. In the fall of 2013, Salmon will bring out Interrogating Water and Other Poems.