Perennial Scream

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

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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?

42 thoughts on “Perennial Scream

  1. I especially like these:

    “weird sister of henbane”

    from the tear-soaked ground beneath the gallows drop”

    “I’m a visible scream”

    “When the year sags with darkness”


  2. Firstly this piece has great rhythm and like the definitive ‘I’ at the start of each stanza which underlines the growing force of the poem. My fav line ‘I’m a visible scream …’ Great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. perennial scream! and your poem lived up to its title Kim! my fave line “I’m a visible scream from the depths of your dreams,” you have magnificently made plants very sinister, and I feel the come alive with such vengeance. a very scary good read.

    Liked by 1 person

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