Philosophers and monks disavow it. Things of this world: Versailles, Yasnava Polyana, Mar-a-Lago or King Tut’s tomb. Thoreau’s twenty-eight-dollar- and-twelve-cent cabin. We stake out territories, as do birds with song—my tree, my nest. Even the homeless, my sleeping bag, shopping cart, my steam grate. Unaccomodated Lear: “Off, you lendings…. Thou art the thing itself.” Tsunami, tornado, wildfires artillery or rockets leave consumer goods among the ruins. Your TV or mine, inner-spring mattress, mass-produced dolls and bikes. Just things, we say. Got out alive. "Every man has a property in his own person,” asserts John Locke. The proprietory lover warns “remember when a dream appears, you belong to me,” though lovers aren’t property. Covet not thy neighbor’s wife (or husband), trophy or not. Covet not the swimming pool the new SUV, the greener grass. My teenaged son prized his rap CDs, his DVDs, his posters, his laptop, his boxer underwear, his Red Sox caps, his basketball shoes, his dress shirts and T shirts and faded, pre-torn jeans: “my Life,” he called them. Blamed us if we touched without permission, or mixed in family laundry. I drove him to college mattress tied to roof, back seats crammed with impedimentia. God bless the child that’s got her own. Neighbors expect us to keep up our house, bushes pruned, grass mowed, fresh paint. No eyesores or neglect. Property taxes hire police, for fear of vandals, thieves, or home invaders. Some of us keep guns. “What is the effect of property upon the character?” E.M. Forster asks. It makes him feel “heavy,” he says. Too heavy to pass through the eye of a needle. As a boy I envied birds, dogs, and wildlife the right to cross suburban yards, blind to human borders. And what of public lands, parks, and commons, owned by town, state, nation? “This land is our land From California to Manhattan island,” sings Woody Guthrie. European ancestors colonized, homesteaded, and fought indigenous peoples as well as each other for the continent. “The land was ours before we were the land’s,” wrote Frost. Whose island was Prospero’s? Sycorax’s? Caliban’s? Arial’s? Was Prospero the colonist, or philosopher king? In More’s Utopia, Hythloday argues: “where possessions be private… it is… almost impossible that the weal-public may be justly governed.” And More’s retort: “Methinketh that men shall never there live wealthily where all things be common.” Is this my poem, or ours?