Urban Physic Garden


Black Mustard

July 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Medicinal Plants Poetry Project

It’s the senafitch — not the butter-blushed wot
with its flame of berbere, or blood-orange turmeric —
that rolls around in his mouth and head
on the bus as it weakly bucks northward.
It’s the senafitch — buzzing in its blast-oil,
mud-blind with its own pungency —
that’s locked there, like a can opener
sealed inside a can, blemishing his brain.
It’s the senafitch — pinging in the dented pan,
its poultice darkening every tongue —
that won’t be outdone by the sweat fog
of this packed bus or the sticky Tangawizi.
It’s the senafitch — its pellets tweezered
from the flesh of a shotgunned devil
and deburdened of their scab jackets —
that still flavours the kiss he plants
on the girl’s knuckles, very late that evening.
Jon Stone
(From Herbarium, a new poetry anthology. Launch and reading 22 July)

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