Malevolent Mate

I don’t mind the normal weeds;
I find baby Nettles perfect for soup
and the Ground Elder tastes better
than spinach in stew,
and someday I may even turn
my dandelion blooms into wine.

but the Japanese Knotweed
is more monster than weed,
a beast of a bush, a perilous plant
we tiptoe around, not to arouse
its tentacle roots, constantly
crawling, seeking a way to
disturb and destroy.

Only at night, we are daring enough,
to gently uproot the saplings
it shoots, to ever so gently
making it weaker and weaker
and maybe one day
we’ll be free from the terror
of this, our malevolent mate.

Today Sarah asks us to write poems about weed at dVerse to celebrate National Weed Appreciation Day. The ground here is covered in snow after the late relapse of winter. Still below our menace, is waiting. We have managed to make it smaller and smaller.

March 28, 2023

15 responses to “Malevolent Mate

  1. I like your poem, AND I very much appreciate your ongoing struggle to get rid of this invasive species. We have a LOT of it where I leave near Boston, MA, USA. I am told that some people eat the early shoots in the spring… maybe that will help!

  2. An excellent contrast of edible and malevolent weeds, Björn! I admire your hobby of foraging, and recommend dandelion wine and dandelion and burdock. Japanese knotweed is indeed a monster, one of the UK’s most pernicious weeds. Indeed, it is widely believed to pose a significant risk of damage to buildings that are within seven metres of the above-ground portions of the plant. You must declare Japanese knotweed when selling a property, as the presence of Japanese knotweed could prevent you from securing a mortgage, and the value of a house is likely to be affected by knotweed.

  3. In the southern US there is no knotweed; our peril is the subsuming cover of kudzu. I’ve seen chimneys of abandoned houses barely clear the cover, like a periscope. Your use of “mate” makes this also a catalog of past loves.

  4. Weed eradication the long, hard way. The hardware stores have chemicals to do the job. On the farm, before chemicals we hoed or pulled the ones needing unearthed. The rest we used a scythe or a corn knife.
    Even so, I really enjoyed the read. I haven’t been aquatinted with the Japanese Knotweed. I think we grow it for the nectar, making Wild Japanese Knotweed Root Extract to sell.

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