I dream of being a weed…



I dream of being a weed

traveling in my roots carving deep,

just carving, scraping away

letting go more of the surface

each time I tap deeper


These are restless nights

waking with soil packed tight

at the corner of eyes picking at

worm castings under fingernails

the scrim wrapped tight round my head

caked with quartz shards and clay

filaments of memory scattered about the floor

the moon an aboriginal instinct


I’m a veteran miner

more comfortable in the dark

where I can keep an eye on things


On the surface my tough rosettes

of green continue to vitamin the grassy bank

the untamed sun persisting in its pursuit

until finally … reluctant with abandon


There is no letting go. Why would I?

There is nothing of worth to carry…

All I can do is bloom



 drawing and poem …. j.h.white

31 responses

  1. I have just read this aloud to Christine who asked if you read your words to a live audience because this is captivating work. The roots digging deeper to give nutrition to the surface – almost a juxtaposition of the brambles surrounding Sleeping Beauty’s castle where she awaits the awakening. We both see elements of the fairy tale tradition in your latest pieces, the gothic haunting ghosts that they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, both of you! I haven’t read to a live audience in about a year but I did enjoy the experience…open mike at a local poetry gathering. I was working in prose last year and joined in until I had gone through all the poetry I’d written. I’m glad you think this one read well. Makes me wonder if you read your own fiction aloud? It would be a trip! I’m thinking of the ghost stories especially…
      I love your analogy of Sleeping Beauty’s brambles and gothic haunting ghosts. I’ve been crazy about wild herbs for food, wine and medicine though, since living in the woods. Now I just acknowledge their feisty presence in my work and as I walk the city streets and mountain trails.


      • No I haven’t read for an audience . But I think there is something very special about hearing a writer read their own work especially in a small and informal setting like the one you describe. Wish I could have been there.

        Liked by 2 people

    • This makes me laugh Hariod….the exuberance!
      Here Russian vine is called Silver Lace vine and it is decidedly one of my favorite wildly wonderful vines. All those lovely wispy pendulous white racemes on branches spiraling and completely overtaking everything in reach. Mark mentions brambles. You mention Russian vine. Hmmmm….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. it’s uncanny how completely the narrator takes on the persona of a weed, as if willing herself into another form.

    “I’m a veteran miner/ more comfortable in the dark/ where I can keep an eye on things,” sure sounds like someone who has learned to be wary. but then there is that bit of hope in the last line.
    the truth is in the ambivalence.

    also, i really like the drawing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Michael. Everyone’s comments are so interesting to me on this one. You say….”the truth is in the ambivalence.” Yes, but it’s complicated….
      I’ve never known an ambivalent weed. It just isn’t in their nature. There is so much “chattering” on the surface of things it must be beneficial to have a deep tap root where they can keep an “eye on things” .. all that is at the root of everything, despite the noise. I have a deep admiration for wild herbs…the dandelions, burdocks and yellow docks. They are tenacious, full of nutrients and medicine. And they bloom in their own ways….I’m taking lessons!


  3. Deepest earth magic here Jana, in graphite image and burrowing words. The crafting in both is extraordinary, that’s the “tough rosettes of green” on the surface…below is the true enchantment. In the fertile dark the goddess moves…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John…you see right to the heart of it. I can hardly have a better teacher than a bunch of wild herbs!
      And the drawing is a start… I really do want to catch up with some skills I’ve neglected and curb my love/hate relationship with the discipline of drawing. Back to basics….Seriously, thank you for the encouragement! ⭐


    • Hmmm…yes, Durer’s watercolor is subtly and wonderfully revealing, isn’t it. Graceful and creative order in complexity. And all those lovely greens!…all so comforting and familiar. Thank you poetess friend …. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teri….I was digging burdock root this past fall. My daughter and I tincture the root as a nutritive tonic and her ducks, during the summer months, like the shade of its leaves. It was good spending time with this old friend again. The meeting was a thoughtful one…


    • Hi Virgilio and thank you for your wonderful comment… For me, despite a sometimes internal coloring of “reluctance” there is the delicate balancing of “abandoning” myself to the bloom. I suppose as with many things it can be experienced in complimentary ways….allowing myself to be vulnerable and at the same time understanding the inherent commonality with all living beings. A delicate balancing indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lots here to enjoy Jana and contemplate. I’ll focus on ‘clay filaments of memory.’ And ‘scattered about the floor…’ thin, thread-like, but clay….Almost delicately fossil-like? Really enjoy the image and poem and the process you are describing. Or the state of being you are interpreting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “clay filaments of memory.” Well, you have added another interesting dimension in the way you’ve read the lines and interpreted the poem. This is what is so wonderful about poetry…all the interpretations, all the layers of meaning. It is also why I don’t use a lot of punctuation or capitol letters….Thank you Steven for this!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. The composition is from a great photo…so I can’t take credit for this. Sometimes I just need serious inspiration while I’m finding my way around a pencil. I’m glad you liked the second stanza….It’s February. I’m definitely craving some loamy soil in my hands….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jana, I have loved this poem since you posted it way back in February! I have been working on an illustration for it – bearing in mind that you already created a gorgeous drawing to accompany the poem – I have been doing a photo collage. I’d love to send you a draft and talk about posting it – if you use the “contact me” tab on Illustrated Poetry, it emails me directly. I hope you are well and to hear from you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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