Earth Smoke. Fumaria officinalis

[One of a series of poems I wrote about common weeds. Mudgee is a country town in the west of New South Wales.]

Earth Smoke. Fumaria officinalis

Unnoticed like beggars or dew in ditches
your tiny blossoms sit in serried rows
of pink flies waiting for lift-off. Scrambler.

Bitter sheep delight, your pinks dye wool
yellow. Rampant mendicant where soil is poor
or we’ve mucked it up in our obsessive

focus on food. Dirt births your blue-green
smoke, a vapour, burnt, expelling demons.
In Mudgee you smother wheat. Proudly

humble like some saint, disdaining
bugs & help, you go fuck yourself
& then set every seed. The old books swore

by you, since, Taken with good Venice Treacle,
it is good against Plague
, not to mention
your being a most singular thing

against hypochondriack melancholy
in any person whatsoever
. A most post-
modern herb. If only there weren’t

that carcinogenic sanguinarine blowing
up glaucomatose eyes, expelling unready
babies from their clingy wombs.


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on February 13, 2012.

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