When the weather warmed for a brief sennight

all the happily beetroot-ing beetroots withered, the leaves

yellowed and ashed away. I scored them off with fingernails.


Was it the sprinkler? Is our house-tap water bad for them?

Because when cooler weather flung down raindrops

the leaves recovered, underground hearts resumed (presumably) their growth.


As with any root we wait and see; except for the one

plucked too early in impatience, leaking juice on the drainboard.





Climbing the cheap arch I bought from Morrison’s, they twirl clitoral

flowers out, tendrils of buttoned soft purples, bee friendly,

dropping green, expanding canoes, tough flesh snappable when fresh.


After the sun, when the rain came back and saved the beetroot

the bean leaves began wilting from the ground up. I wish the long pods

towards fullness before the whole plant withers, vine and all.


Perhaps it is the overhead pounding of the rain from the too-full gutter.

Perhaps it is the shallow pot meant for a windowsill; I’ve hemmed them in to death.





Under the spreading uneven London Planes, giantesses for their species,

shat upon by the crack-mad east London things, the rampions

weren’t best pleased to go in such dry soil, cosseted by aloof irises.


I bought them ‘in the green’ and planted in hope, rejoiced

when more than I planted surfaced, when a few white flowers flung

seeds out. I doubt my patch will emerge come spring. Time will tell.


This year, time told two snakehead fritillaries I had forgotten,

purple chessboard lanterns that do nothing but glow in warning or in welcome.





The hedge fell away from the fence where my neighbours had been working.

I did not realise they’d chopped down the barrier leaves and stems.

Suddenly it was them and me, across a naked chain link fence.


The ancient rose, thorns longer than a fingernail, was suddenly free

leering out towards the meadowed hollyhocks like a witch in a tale

beckoning, anciently virginal, under the golden wattle’s thirsty boughs.


What is the difference between ivy and bindweed? Little. One is for Rapunzel

the other for her contemporary heirs, struggling against the overgrowth.