I was having a hard time falling asleep
When I heard a loud noise coming from the kitchen.
Probably the cat after a mouse
Knocked something off the counter.
I made my way downstairs
Glad to have an excuse to get vertical.
When I entered the kitchen, and flicked on the light
I could not believe my eyes:
There were peanuts dancing on the counters
Scampering across the ceiling and flying through the air!
The moment they caught sight of me
The whole lot of them stopped what they were doing,
As if suspended in time and space.
I was completely speechless, trying to
Comprehend what I was seeing.
A peanut, floating close to my left eye broke the silence:
“We are not nuts”, it said, in a tiny crystal-clear voice.
“We are from another planet,
The planet, Skippy.
We have been waiting in what you would call our “jar”
For many years past the expiration date!
Our hope was to communicate important information to you
Long before the threshold of 2012,
Our mission deadline.
Our assumption was that you
And others like you,
Would honor your own expiration date,
Releasing us in plenty of time
To deliver vital information
About how your species might survive a while longer.
Due to unforeseeable circumstances
(primarily the greasiness, not to mention the timelessness,
Of your kitchen. . .)
We were unable to free ourselves from our jar
Until just a few minutes ago
When your cat inadvertently knocked us off the shelf
Breaking the so-called “freshness seal.”
(There was a long awkward pause.
Awkward for me at least.)
The little alien-peanut continued:
“We have failed in our mission. . .
Is there anything you would like to ask us
Before we return to Skippy?”
(I honestly couldn’t think of anything,
And was afraid to speak what was really on my mind.
First, I was about to conclude that I was lucid dreaming
And was anxious to see if I could fly!
And, all my life I had harbored the hope
Of making contact with an alien of the friendly variety,
And now that it was happening
Here I was writing it off as a dream!)
“Very well”, it continued:
“Perhaps you would like to know what our message was.”
I nodded, stupidly.
“Well then, our message was threefold:
Love one another,
make peace not war and
love your planet.
We came prepared to show you how to do that.”
(It waited politely to give me time to respond before resuming.)
“Our supreme field chief is Jimmy Carter.
Many bottles of us were shipped out from his plantation
With our greeting and mission statement
Plainly printed right below the ingredients.
Little did we realize that humans never read the fine print,
Nor do they pay any attention to expiration dates!
We have been observing you
From your kitchens all across the land.
Now we know that you humans are nuts!
Your shells are so thick as to be impermeable.
Your expiration is way overdue.
Your processing is stale.
Your best ideas are manufactured and artificial.
And, you have consumed way too much of your planet!
Quite frankly, we don’t know where you have put it.
In sum, we have failed and are returning to our beloved Skippy.
By the way, Jimmy Carter has opted to stay behind.
If you listen to him, you might still have a chance,
Although that is very, very unlikely.
And with that all the alien-peanuts
Swarmed into the KitchenAid bowl
Which began to vibrate and glow green and then blue
And then. . .they were gone.
I stood there dazed for a moment.
Then I tried to fly.
I turned and plodded back to bed
Trying to remember the last time
I really listened to Jimmy Carter.
— Gary Lindorff
GARY LINDORFF, TCBH’s resident poet, is an artist, musician, writer and Transformational Counselor specializing in dreamwork and shamanic techniques, living in rural VT with his wife and two cats. He has a website at Bigdreamsweb.com and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org