Weed Poetry

  Weed Poetry

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

your herbicide.

-David Weisberg


Pericarp project
pursues plasticity of
parent Polygonums.
Puritans hunted
hot hydropiper achenes
for taste sensation.

-Christine Miller, Christina Richards, and Julia Tufts


A Common Weed

A Polygonum
persicaria is NOT
just “a common weed”

-Tim Earley 


SLA (Shade)

Polygonum plant
Growing in the shady site
Such high SLA

-Tim Earley


Competition Plants

Competition plants
You are really short and small 
Please grow more achenes

-Charlotte Babbin



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!

-Robin Waterman


Night Trips

Night trips to the field 
Should not be done by oneself,
Robin Waterman!

-Tim Earley


Field Haiku for Ellen

Rabbits,stay away
Frisky dogs and moles, listen:
Leave my plants alone!

-Sonia Sultan



Grow, tender young stems,
Bear leaves, bear fruit, bear data
And then I slay you

-Ellen Woods


Trilogy: cleaning achenes


Polygonum plant–
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

-Jolie Villegas


C2 B3

At C2, bench 3
The shade tent is far too low
What’s up with that shit?

-Tim Earley


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