are you a weed nationalist, a prophet of the weed diaspora?
or do you advocate the assimilation of the weed, like
the jew, into the various plant-nations of the world-garden?
a weed zion? o wandering weed
roots without roots,
a nomad in a ghetto,
yearning to take its rightful place
among the flowers and the cones.
perhaps weeds do need their own republic,
weeds of the world unite, you
have nothing to lose but
-Christine Miller, Christina Richards, and Julia Tufts
A Common Weed
persicaria is NOT
just “a common weed”
Growing in the shady site
Such high SLA
You are really short and small
Please grow more achenes
Lying dormant under your feet
They’ll come alive with water and heat.
It takes just one to spawn a horde
Too far and wide to be ignored.
Bring on the grazer, road or plough
These plants will flourish anyhow.
To their every wish you’ll soon succumb
As they sing “Feed me, Team Polygonum!
Night trips to the field
Should not be done by oneself,
Field Haiku for Ellen
Frisky dogs and moles, listen:
Leave my plants alone!
Grow, tender young stems,
Bear leaves, bear fruit, bear data
And then I slay you
Trilogy: cleaning achenes
How excited I am for
Achenes that smooth hands.
Rough hands expose you
Tearing away your casing.
Show us your true self
Porque no los dos?
How many achenes?
Too many to count them all.
Let’s weigh them instead!
-Annie Thompson, Leah Murphy, and Sonia Sultan
Nemesis: a suite
rooted in the earth
i sprout up and stretch my leaves
craving those warm rays
shade is not my friend
blocking out the light I need
i can’t grow as tall
stealing my sunshine
while I’m stuck here in the soil
my dark nemesis
At C2, bench 3
The shade tent is far too low
What’s up with that shit?
Song of Polygonum
Our life is a series of grants
To grow hundreds and hundreds of plants
Though we couldnt adore
Our Polygonum more
It is a one-sided romance.
First we germinate them in a flat,
(It turns out that they like it like that).
Then they make leaves and roots
And abundant new fruits
that are shiny and perky and fat.
Yes our smartweeds are clever, they’re tough
When they’re drought-stressed they cant get enough
They tolerate shade
And the aphid parade
and all kinds of experiment stuff.
We know who they are from their tags,
As they jauntily wave their green flags,
They deal with it all
Standing proud, standing tall
Till we dry them in their paper bags.
-Sonia Sultan, with thanks to Amity Wilczek