The Second Week of January


A Sad Ending by Rasputina2


The Second Week of January

Christmas is done with,
The New Year is come,
The feasting is over,
The outlook is glum,
Our work is resumed
And the weather is cold,
So uproot the glitter
And out with the old.

They’re sprouting on pavements
And swarming on greens,
They loiter on verges
Like unruly teens,
They cluster round dustbins
And litter our lanes:
Straggly and soggy,
These sorry remains.

They served us so proudly
A fortnight ago,
They warmed up the winter
And gave us a glow.
But now they are cast out
With scant a goodbye –
Destitute, homeless,
And waiting to die

The council is working
To round up the strays
And shred them to chippings
For Agas to blaze,
Or sit beneath see-saws,
Or borders to don.
By Twelve Night they’re coming,
By Burns Night, they’re gone.

The Green Tree Anthem



The Green Tree Anthem

The People’s Trees are greenest green –
They’re marching forth since Halloween.
On chilly days and snowy nights,
They proudly bear their fairy lights.

So raise your verdant branches high,
And hoist your red star to the sky –
Though humbugs scoff and scrooges sneer,
We’ll keep the green tree growing here.

When Christmas time is ruinous,
With profiteers pursuing us,
Their simple charm bring us delight,
And help us through the silent night.

So raise our battered spirits high,
And help us keep our powder dry.
Let bankers curse and workers cheer –
We’ll keep the green tree glowing here.

Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum,
For needlekind we’re pining.
Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum,
We’ll keep the green tree shining.



Hallmark Horticulture



Hallmark Horticulture 1

Roses are red,
And violets are blue…
Except to a bee
Who can see in UV –
Who knew ?



Hallmark Horticulture 2

Roses are red,
And violets are blue –
Or so it is said,
But I wonder if true.
Perhaps in the future –
But for a while yet
Most roses are fuschia,
And violets are violet.



September Showers




September Showers

Acorns crunch beneath my boots –
There’s far too many for the looting squirrels, howe’er keen.
Are these too green ?  Are these too brown ?
A breeze shakes down a hail of fruits –
I pick one up and pop it from its birthing cup,
And wonder if an acorn dreams
Of pleated barks and soaring beams –
And what if ev’ry one of these took root ?
This lane would be athwart with trees !
Just think of how a trunk might shoot
From ev’ry acorn, where they lay:
Many just an inch or two apart, I’d say –
How long before their saplings start
To touch, and merge, from verge to verge,
Until a hedge of oak will choke
This ancient right of way ?
But if I take one home with me,
Perhaps that wall will bare a gap
Where flows no sap and grows no tree –
But as I turn to leave, I see
Another drizzle fill the lane,
And when I try to find my spot
I cannot – all is acorns once again.



Nothofagus antarctica

southern beech
Nothofagus antarctica-08 by Blake C Willson


Nothofagus antarctica

They call him the Antarctic Beech,
And they call him False Beech too,
He’s somewhat beechy, that bit’s true,
Although he’s rather false as well:
A cousin, not a brother, truth to tell.
But as for the Antarctic, hell –
That one’s a real reach !

Antarctic Beech is no such thing,
He cannot cross the Southern Seas –
He clings to Fuego, looking out,
The southernmost of all the trees.
He braces up to southerlies
That stunt and sculpt and knock about.

And so, each slow September-Spring
He wakes, and adds another ring.
But far five hundred miles beyond,
His boughs bow-out to fragile gloom,
Where only mosses raise a frond,
And only grass and pearlwort bloom.

Now far to the north, he’s also in sprout:
An immigrant hardwood who’s hardy and stout.
So the Antarctic Beech is the king of the Faroes –
Where’er the cold air blows,
That’s where he grows.
Though not in all lands that are under the Plough,
But only as far as the cold will allow:
The poles are forever beyond his long reach –
Forever the sub-arctic beech.

The Horn’s as far as he may go,
But fair’s fair, fossils have been found
Beneath the harsh Antarctic ground –
But as for living species: no.
But oh !  The Antarctic beech – what a star !
The tree to the south of the south of afar !
So yes, we all know that his claim is a lie –
But how could we let such a name pass us by ?



The Practical Gardener

gray shed on white and green field near trees during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on


The Practical Gardener

My garden is a rabble
Of the pushiest of weeds –
I wander through the scrabble
Of these self-selecting seeds.
I really should uproot them,
But in truth, I’m loath to scoot them,
When they bring the place alive, alive,
Where lesser blooms won’t thrive.

I love the weeds for their weediness,
For their entrepreneurial greediness,
With none of your hot-housey neediness.
Keep all your grasses and sedges and reeds,
Just give me a garden of nothing but weeds.

My rose-bush is no stunner,
And my aster’s called it quits.
My beans have done a runner,
And my melon’s gone up-tits.
But see my clamb’ring bramble,
And my bindweed web and ramble,
And my nettles stretching high, so high –
At least they’re never shy.

I love the weeds for their weediness,
For their never gone-to-seediness,
With none of your quaint little tweediness.
Keep all your caulis and marrows and swedes,
Just give me a garden of nothing but weeds.

With maggots on the rise,
And with aphids by the score,
I hope to soon see butterflies,
And ladybirds galore.
So when the slugs come feeding,
They just help me with the weeding.
Those bugs may all belong, belong,
But so does blackbird song.

I love the weeds for their weediness,
For their naught-to-invasive speediness,
With none of your lack-of-succeediness.
Keep all your cultivars, hybrids and breeds,
Just give me a garden of nothing but weeds.