Minute purples, tiny blues, pins of white,
heads of bursting yellow.
Forget them, forget them not:
(Or the name you give them – weeds.)
Growing freely alongside the grass
of your untrimmed lawns, fields, verges;
these vibrant native nuggets pop
up each spring.
Cuckooflowers, dog violets, daisies,
primroses, cornflowers, cowslips;
You call them unwanted, unnecessary, untidy.
But, what if, instead,
you were to think, ‘What a feast for wildlife!
Which species will my patch of green attract
if I let these lovely plants be?’
A tiny section of dandelions,
left to grow full manes,
can feed a myriad of insects:
our tiny heroes who pollinate crops
and break down waste,
meticulous workers pumping life
right up to your front door.
Surely that’s cause to leave
the weedkiller alone this year?
(Or better, discard it, safely, altogether.)
So, spare a thought to that patch of colour
you didn’t plant.
For all flowers are worthy;
all play a part.
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, social fundraisers etc) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.
If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!
(You can also become a member of the RSPB and support them month to month. Members receive Nature’s Home magazine and seasonal guides for what to look out for when out and about. Details are on their website.)