Urban Physic Garden


Lady’s Mantle

July 7th, 2011 · No Comments · Medicinal Plants Poetry Project

Stumbling on Alchemilla, Cow Slip, Savory (Creeping) & Savory (Winter)

& it is surprising how it is
common & without
petal & laps
over my lady’s mantle
too much. Leans into green,
tries to let fancy spill over tendrils, a rush
of morning
paint, to keep things bright
like yellows in their waxy virtue (faint
half-flush that dies). The will to re-grow everything
is strong
— divided leaves —
to go back there.
Subconscious squeaks up
— fan-shaped
with its small teeth —
too late the season, dear, too late

& so far away! Moving
to open ground is just a ruse
to have us chase
down mountains native to their heights,
but how perennially. The scent emitting diode
needs filling with coin
— of spring —
it is a very cow dung,
tosses back everything we stoke
it in its kept silence;
it’s such a sluttish heap. With slip
of heaven,
sudden heat catches
— flowering —
somewhere about there,
where it’s
too slow, dear, too slow

the ground creeps up above
& then runs out
for anyone to catch — over such vast
distance — huge bee plant of it breezing
low ground cover, daring to try
to savour, try
without salt at least, to colonise,
& bright green linear. Maybe
an aphrodisiac
for all the summer. & hardy as anything:
frost, volatile, & other
properties. For it is so
nearly over
that harsh winter that was long
& far
too good to go.
Emily Critchley
(From Herbarium, a new poetry anthology. Launch and reading 22 July)

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