I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

28 May 2015

Survival of — the Fittest?

I failed to pull one weed,
a fine, feathery piece of green
lost among larger,
more legitimate plants.

Before I noticed, it grew
to the size of a strong young shrub
too thick for me to tug,
clinging hard to the earth.

Now it's a graceful tree
towering over that garden bed.
Its ferny, wind-ruffled leaves
crown three slender trunks.

It does no harm, I tell myself.
I like its beauty. One day it will be
majestic, I can tell.
I hope it's not noxious (illegal).

Meanwhile I keep removing
its little sisters and brothers
from all over my yard. Tiny,
they come away easily.

If I let them continue,
I'd soon have a forest!
And in the real forests,
I hope they never spread.

Our weeds are introduced
and pretty in a garden,
but left to roam would smother
all the indigenous species.

I want to keep the eucalypts
and everything else God placed here:
keep what feeds the koalas;
what native bees use for honey.

(I seldom consider my white skin
and the way my kind muscled in
to kill, crowd out, and take over from
the indigenous species.)

Written for Midweek Motif: Weeds/Weediness at Poets United


  1. Whew! Hard truths, especially when your last stanza invites me to reread the poem and see if I can tell whether such a usurper could make good/God decisions about indigenous plants and not. Brilliant! I love how it starts with one weed, moves to a tree, and then backs off into a long shot.

    1. I think the early invaders had no notion what was good for this country! Much damage was done, some of it maliciously, some of it in sheer ignorance. I hope we have learned a thing or two since then, but we invaders are long entrenched. And now we presume to make decisions as to whether to allow entry to different newcomers.

    2. And yet, who else can do it? Make the connections, empower the answers? We've got to share the privilege we cannot break. Love!

  2. I have to echo Susan's comment. I like the way this moves.

  3. i like how deep truths rise from trying to weed out...

  4. Wow! Your ending is powerful. The same weed effect happened here in the U.S.

  5. Loved how this poem spoke about the true nature of weeds and its effect on Nature :D
    There was beautiful flow throughout the lines and ended on a powerful note :D

    Beautifully executed..!
    Lots of love,

  6. That was pretty hard hitting, and true.

  7. yeah, i know what you mean there is a weed we call it in everday conversation "candle bush" because the flower stalks look like candles on a candle stand, left alone it grows and grows before you know it you have a small tree on your hands
    oh and the last verse is such a curve ball, it takes to back to a re read to make sure you didnt miss a thing

    thanks for dropping in to read mine

    much love...

  8. It is amazing that a weed became that graceful tree. Love your thoughts here, Rosemary, especially the closing stanza. I often feel uncomfortable in my white skin, as I live among First Nations and know only too well the oppression, poverty and displacement under which they have suffered for so long.

  9. Excellent thoughts in this poem. I like how the progression of a weed's growth takes you to thinking about human invasion.

  10. Rosemary, do you have koalas visit your garden? THAT would really be cool.

    Your poem made interesting points. Yes, neglect one strong weed and it takes over the area. Reminds me of people as well. Neglect a bad habit, and soon it controls all.

    1. No Mary, no koalas in my garden — and their natural habitats are diminishing fast.

  11. Wow. That packs a punch!

  12. That last verse really is sobering...survival of the fittest indeed...(although we are not to blame for what our ancestors did..only in some small way acknowledge it may not have been 'right)

  13. I'm trying to identify that tree. There was big purge of camphor laurels when I was there. I had no idea that some species were introduced out of malice...like to know the story on that one....maybe it was mother of millions which kills the cows or crofton weed which kills the horses.
    Ending is interesting...the fittest survive and rule....just like in the jungle and in the plant species.

  14. Humans can be like weeds. Its hard to tell if we really are though.

  15. Hmmmm, indeed, Rosemary. This poem could well be suited to next week's theme of sustainability also, as well as giving a powerful message about colonialism too...
    Much food for thought here.