Friday, May 17, 2013

Natural Selection

Seed, what on earth’s got into you? 

There you go rooting and taking off 
In the most ridiculous 

Of surroundings—say jammed 
Between some blooming sheer- 

Rock face or surfacing through 
A sea of noxious black 

Asphalt—never where 
I so lovingly sow you,

Like this nursery bed here. 
You know what? 

I think I’ll stop being so 
Goddamn caring— 

From now on, it’s every man 
For himself, like it or not. 


  1. Vassilis, your poem reminds me of a Vermont teacher/farmer who specifically chose a particular spot to plant certain herbs who later found, to his dismay, that they'd somehow "moved" themselves all the way over to another, much, much farther field. Not apparently typical for this type herb. His explanation: The didn't like where he'd planted them and collectively rebelled. (I noted that when he pulled up a Valerian root once, he first apologized to it.) Could wind-drift be the reason some end up in beds of asphalt, though? Loved this poem! A very familiar conversation!!

  2. Hi, Annie--

    Apparently it's a wide-spread phenomenon, this independent streak amongst the seed gang but as usual, we humans don't get their drift!
    Thanks for leaving your comments; always a pleasure.

  3. Vassilis,

    As a dismal failure at gardening myself, all I can say is, hats off to the poet with a green thumb, even if a bit errant in happy-accidental floral-location (and of course, credit where due, thumbs up to Dame Nature, never a respecter of best-laid plans!).

    That wonderful expression for plant surprises comes to mind here -- volunteer.

  4. Tom,
    I don’t know how “green” my green thumb is but since 1996 when Eleni and the family moved into our “Milk and Honey” House, I spend some of my winter days scouring the countryside for wild plants to transplant—one of my favorites is the European myrtle (see the Wikipedia extract below) primarily because it is also a favorite of the birds that frequent out garden—I must have about 20 of these scattered over the premises—you see, one can never get enough of love and immortality!
    In Greek mythology and ritual the myrtle was sacred to the goddesses Aphrodite[6] and also Demeter: Artemidorus asserts that in interpreting dreams “a myrtle garland signifies the same as an olive garland, except that it is especially auspicious for farmers because of Demeter and for women because of Aphrodite. For the plant is sacred to both goddesses.”[7] Pausanias explains that one of the Graces in the sanctuary at Elis holds a myrtle branch because “the rose and the myrtle are sacred to Aphrodite and connected with the story of Adonis, while the Graces are of all deities the nearest related to Aphrodite.” Myrtle is the garland of Iacchus, according to Aristophanes,[8] and of the victors at the Theban Iolaea, held in honour of the Theban hero Iolaus.[9]
    In Rome, Virgil explains that “the poplar is most dear to Alcides, the vine to Bacchus, the myrtle to lovely Venus, and his own laurel to Phoebus.”[10] At the Veneralia, women bathed wearing crowns woven of myrtle branches, and myrtle was used in wedding rituals.
    In the Mediterranean, myrtle was symbolic of love and immortality. In their culture the plant was used extensively and was considered an essential plant.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...