I am bane to the blighted, a true mandrake,
an elemental, homeopathic hex
tethered to earth by the human shape
of my stemless roots crowned with leaf rosettes.
I’m a narcotic ingredient of the soporific sponge,
weird sister of henbane, opium and hemlock.
When my root has taken, it cannot be expunged
from the tear-soaked ground beneath the gallows drop.
I’m a visible scream from the depths of your dreams,
a silent echo in the hollows of my flower bells.
When the year sags with darkness at its seams,
the power of my magic can drive you to hell.
Kim M. Russell, 2018
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics with poisonous plants
Today Björn is hosting Poetics; he says that he sees poetic beauty in such lethal names as nightshade, belladonna, wolfsbane, foxglove and hemlock, which is why he wants us to use the names of poisonous plants in our poetry. The list is long, and plants often have many different names. All we have to do is include at least one poisonous plant to brew potions, stew roots and bring poison to the bar. We can also write about the beauty or the good in these plants., or use the flower and its poison as a metaphor. As inspiration, Björn has shared a poem by Charles Baudelaire from Flowers of Evil (Fleurs du mal).
What’s your poison?