Tag Archives: poetry

Ode to the plantain weed

Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) by Bob Embleton, England, via Wikimedia Commons. “On the grass verge on May Day. Also known as fighters, soldiers, hard-heads (as they can be used in a game similar to conkers), fire-weed and fire leaf.”


I was so happy to “meet” dian this last week. We’re birds of a feather, interested in literature . . . and eating weeds! Ha!
— S. K.

Ode to the plantain weed

a Brobdingnagian broad leaf
a circular universe

this round leafed plant
low circles of leaves,

low-growing pressed
close squatting real low

with flower stalks 12-18 inches tall
spike shells like firing silver bullets

cone-shaped bloom
bending its stem tight

arrow heads fly
You are your own macrocosmos

an intercontinental ballistic missile
control facility center

with medicinal properties with edible leaves and seeds
appreciated from far back

Anglo-Saxons remedies for scapes, wounds, burns, sores
bites and bee-bug stings.

a wide rosette spread
a common weed with wide, oval leaves

by Roman armies
on conquests

You, so remembered as the white man’s
perennial foot print

— dian parrotta


“Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Essex, England” by sannse, via Wikimedia Commons

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Dian is a proud alumnus from the State University of New York’s Stony Brook University which had taken her for the first time away from Brooklyn. She also holds an M.A.T degree from George Mason University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Lindenwood University. She enjoys writing about the health benefits of eating delicious dandelions, broad-leaf plantain, purslane, garlic mustard, common nettle and the very tasty pigweed.  She harvests words into odes that celebrate the common plants, trees, shrubs and roots. She does dream to retire from teaching after 30 years at a local high school within the next year or so to join her two sons, who are both living in Prague and in Madrid, Spain. She says she wouldn’t mind spending her retirement writing garden, flower and plant poems.




Filed under Garden Writers We Love, Green Poetry, Nature Poetry

Pola Vortex

A badass poem about the polar vortex, defined as “a low pressure area—a wide expanse of swirling cold air—that is parked in polar regions.” We know it as the force that wreaked havoc here in the U.S. last week.

Tricia Knoll first published Pola Vortex as part of a “poetry marathon” put on by Tupelo Press, an indie press that publishes books of poetry. It was part of a 30-30 challenge—30 poems in 30 days.

The poems will be up through February here.

Thanks, Tricia, for sharing this one with us.

— S.K.


“Bodypainted Snow Queen” by by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer, via Wikimedia Commons. Licensing agreement can be viewed here.

Pola Vortex 

am the witch’s tit.

You people never get me right. My bitch bra is made of silver, not brass. I make mirrors and hand you froth. I go by many names, but call me Pola. The lusty wind diva. Cringe all you like.

Be warned: Jail break! I am no longer stuck to the cloverleaf of north. I swoop down to kick ass on your sad little towns, clog your straight-arrow roads, shiver your timbers, and kill your weak. ICE? You ain’t seen nothing yet. I lock you homebound.

I rub you raw. Push me with plows? I keep coming. I’m higher than your kites, clouds, skyscrapers and drones. My slip shows – flakey lace. White and quite long-wear-you-down. Hah! I’m a swirling hurl-a-girl layback spin, skating your way every chance I get on ice-sharp blades. Flashing my flowing skirts – silver thaw and midnight blue.

You ignored me. You favored rant-chants about warming. While the sea beneath me went soft. We are going to dance, you and me. Like it or not, I lead. Buckle up your boots. Snowshoes. All-wheel drive and all-weather coats.

You don’t have time to tame me. I’m counter-clockwise. Pola revolutionary.

Fools unlocked the gate. I’m no more stay-at-home dame. Good times Pola Mama. You get what you deserve.

—Tricia Knoll


Tricia Knoll’s latest poetry book, “How I Learned To Be White“, delves into how ancestry, childhood, education, and more form a concept of white privilege . . . and what work is required to see through that privilege and live in this multicultural world. She lives in Vermont and you can read more about Tricia and her books at her website.

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Filed under Garden Writers We Love, Green Poetry

The December Rose


Photo by Tricia Knoll.

The December Rose

From so many, so few,
survivors of first pruning,
waywards scrabbling
sideways for some sun,
as Lenten roses plump
up their buds, those faux
first flowers of late winter.

Where summer gives
lush of reds in silk,
just these, orphans
of short days, of freeze,
they narrow
the number
of months
without roses,
that darkness
of impossible

—Tricia Knoll

Tricia Knoll (2)
Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet whose rose garden keeps expanding. In 2018 her new poetry collection How I Learned to Be White is coming out from Antrim House. Her 2017 collection Broadfork Farm (The Poetry Box) focuses on life on a small family-run organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington where Knoll farmsits when the farmers need to go away.

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Crystal Light of Morning


Pikesview Quarry, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Photo from The Gazette Telegraph archives, by Carol Lawrence.


Crystal Light of Morning

In the crystal light of morning I look to the mountains.
The earth has been cut open, it is bleeding red.
the snow is like a blanket covering the dread.

In this shimmering, frigid air I can see the veil between us and them.

This ancient earth and the ancient humans abhor the modern world that is now.

The earth is alive. The broken open skin of the earth cries because of these atrocities.

—Ginger Hipszky

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Photo of Ginger and Gretchen by Skee Hipszky.

Virginia (Ginger) A. Hipszky was born in 1960 in Franklin, Indiana. She relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado in December 1979. She has one daughter and two stepsons. Various interests include reading, collecting modern and ancient coins, amateur radio, book proofreading, and collecting rocks and fossils. Meteorology and astronomy are two of her favorite passions, and she also enjoys writing poems and prose.

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Note from the Editor: I met Ginger a couple of weeks ago at a mutual friend’s art sale. She told us of a poem that had come to her, inspired by that morning’s view of the first significant snow of the season on a mining site nearby. I found the poem captivating and asked her if I could publish it here. Ginger said yes, and then wrote a little about how it came about in an email: “When the sun first comes up, it turns the exposed granite pink. . . [The poem] just came to me. I felt anxious all day till the words got out and on paper.”

Everyone in Colorado Springs, Colorado is familiar with the mining scar of Queens Canyon Quarry, not far from the one in Ginger’s poem. During a little research I found an article that told how that quarry was mined for limestone, to be used in the concrete foundations of buildings at the Air Force Academy, the Colorado Springs Airport and NORAD (and, I’d add, tens of thousands of homes and businesses). The article stated that in 1966 when Stewart Udall, then Secretary of the Interior, visited here he dubbed our city as “the city with a scar”. For many decades people remarked on its ugliness and how it marred a landscape that held, so close by, geologic wonders like our Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. Here’s the link to that article if you’d like to read about how 20,000 hours of volunteer labor went into reclamation of that area below. The good news is that now you can actually see trees growing on this area.


Queens Canyon Quary, Image from ImFromColorado.com. Another discovery I made is that it is very difficult to find images of the scars. Understandably, they are not something people enjoy photographing.


As the YA author John Green wrote, “The marks humans leave are too often scars.”



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Filed under Garden Writers We Love, Green Poetry

Four Days Away


“Cedar Flags” by Tricia Knoll.

Four Days Away

A small time gone to see the first snow
on the gold hills near the mountain.

A return to tomato plants turning black,
the hosta succumbed to a frost.

The cedar loosed its fall flags
in the west wind and turned the deck

to gold wonder of a forest floor.
Four days under a record rain

and first thing we carried inside,
that heavy temple bell, a gong

too noisy for gusts that attack
our coming winter nights.

—Tricia Knoll

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Tricia Knoll’s most recent book is Broadfork Farm, a series of love poems for the creatures, family, and gardens at a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington. In a time of urban disturbance, retreating to the farm brings a measure of peace.


Website: triciaknoll.com


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Image from Wikimedia Commons, attributed to http://www.ForestWander.com


The gesture of October is sneaking
rain-green back into dry moss,
painting north to drop
hand-me-down leaves
to the ground’s open palm.

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Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet with two books in print – Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press 2016) and Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press 2014). Website: triciaknoll.com

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Rain Songs

1024px-Here_comes_rain_again Juni from Kyoto, Japan

Here Comes the Rain Again by Juni from Kyoto, Japan, via Wikimedia Commons


In Colorado we’re getting some much needed moisture this week, so I thought I’d share this weather-appropriate poetry comic by one of my favorite authors, Jessy Randall.

Sandra Knauf

Rain Songs by Jessy Randall

Rain Songs by Jessy Randal (2)

jessyrandallself-portraitdrawing (3)

Jessy Randall’s poems, poetry comics, diagram poems, and other things have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, McSweeney’s, and Rattle. Her most recent book is Suicide Hotline Hold Music (Red Hen, 2016). She is a librarian at Colorado College and her website is http://personalwebs.coloradocollege.edu/~jrandall/.


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