Friday, August 12, 2011


forest bottom
thick with hemlock and pine pieces
from last fall’s roof-breaking wind
black rocks floating in brown needles
green clean-edged leaves stab through
I want to be less than I am
porous woods light
play over me, warm then cold
hidden birds call tease directions
fly through me
shushing breeze humped field descending in yellow-dotted waves
to the night-filled lake
slide over me deep underground

—Peter Berg, in one of his Eco Ecuador Dispatches, from Nov. 2, 2002

* * *

Peter Berg — San Francisco Mime Troupe playwright and pivotal member of the San Francisco Diggers (nicknamed 'the Hun'), early bioregionalism theorist and Planet Drum Foundation founder, husband and father, visionary radical thinker and beautiful concept/word poet and author — died two weeks ago at age 73. Those who knew him or his work recognized that he had the qualities of a genius. The rest of us will eventually understand what Berg — a true anarchist — was up to.

Here is a brief obituary and appreciation: Peter Berg Oct. 1, 1937 — July 28, 2011

Planet Drum has established a blog to remember Peter and his work at The biographical entry is essential reading.

Envisioning Sustainability, a collection of many of Berg's most important texts, with prefaces by Peter, was published in 2009 and is available from the usual (surviving) book sources, including Amazon.

Here is a wonderful video of Peter in 2009 (source: Shaping San Francisco project), discussing the Diggers' infamous "1% Free" slogan and poster...

Peter Berg: 100 percent free.


  1. THis lovely discursive on the source of the creative a-ha of the 1% FREE poster brings a smile to my lips and tears to my eyes. No one like him, that's for sure.

  2. This caring genius who asked how you were and really meant "how are you" "what is going on in your life" "what do you need" "can I/we, be of help in any way?" "what are you doing these days" "Is there anything you need to do what you want to do?" All of this was present in his eyes when he spoke to you/with you. No distance, no separation. Everything he did was thorough like this. A great human being doing so much for the planet!

  3. sad news may the inspiration of the Diggers plant many seeds