you spit. 
you accuse.

You snap stems,
discard seed,
grasp leaves, dig dirt 
until each root is forcibly freed, 
or maybe you apply herbicide
for ease

"Die, weed, die
you cry with glee. Double dahlias
are what we need. Chemical feed
will raise crowds of blowsy blooms
from cultivated seed"

Bees leave
to seek pollen that they
can reach

Along steamy streets
pockets of green tickle pavements
reaching to conceal heaped waste
which feigns
innocent sleep

Beyond greedy shops,
magnates' dreams emigrate overseas 
to where labour is cheap, and workers 
too poor to complain. 
Industrial relics rot in the rain, 
Britain's shamed industry, obsolete. 
Filth, obscenely tipped into rivers,
fails to biodegrade.

Far from plastic parade and urban decay, 
wide roads surrender to narrow lanes,
white lines submit to green blades, and hedgerows
exhibit kinship between living species,
yet earth's tilth 
tips into sickness; trees strain
to erase our mistakes 
and seasons
struggle to progress.

A frayed leaflet
flitting in the wake of a chance breeze

Which Path Will You Take?

©Jane Paterson Basil

12 thoughts on “Cultivation

  1. Oh, just fabulous. Can I say I miss your words dearly – and it seems, but it might just be me, that your writing has grown a lot since I have last seen you. I know – I’m no expert – simply a lover of the written word, but wow. Just love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How lovely to hear from you Sumyanna! There have been several positive changes in my life this year, which somehow make it hard to focus on poetry or blogging. I don’t know whether my writing has improved, but if it has, I have my son to thank. He writes incredible poetry which inspires me to use words in a better way . but I don’t think I’ll ever reach his standard.


      1. I seriously read this again – trying to see if you have written any new posts. I have to say, there is such soul in your writing. You feel the emotion. Just amazing. Have missed you, but hoping that you are enjoying life in the read world and keeping safe.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Shame on me; this is the first time I’ve been on WP since the beginning of October. There have been a lot of distractions since Paul went into recovery – oh, and I broke my wrist, which made it difficult to write.


  2. It’s so good to have you back Jane! I relate so much to that poem. It’s good to hear about your son’s recovery too. Was wondering how you were doing 🙂


  3. Wow. I didn’t even realize how much I have missed you until reading this just now. Oh. My. Freaking. GOD!! I have to work to not be burdened by this very thing you so beautifully articulate lest it plague and envelop my entire being and reason for being.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The last thing I want is for my poem to weigh you down more than you are already weighed down Carol. Despite those who doubt it, I wrote this after attending a climate crisis protest, but I believe that the human race will somehow survive this environmental crisis.


      1. Please don’t worry about any of that. I’m actually relieved that we have a president coming into office that ran on a platform of addressing climate change.

        I can’t help but wonder if this virus is a direct result of the way the human race has been treating the planet, all the ecosystems we have irreparably destroyed, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m thrilled with the election result. I know Biden was expected to win, but it was a nail-biting time.

          I feel sure that you’re right about the virus. In the early days of our first lockdown I felt quite optimistic – the air was cleaner, so I thought governments around the world might see all the mistakes and make an instant decision to change it all around. Duh!


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