It’s not all butterflies


Enter the garden at your own risk:
I thought I’d go out to our flowerbed
For a brisk
Pull of weeds.

It’s a tiny space
Maybe two metres square
Of little pretty flowers
But now the weeds, they are there.

A little welcome by our front door,
Doesn’t feel like a welcome home any more.
Invaded by Ivy,Thistle, Black bindweed,
Upon our soil these squatters do feed,
Helped along by Chickweed, Dandelion, Plantago and Speedwell
Our entrance is overtaken, undermined and Hell
I’ve got the job of clearing it,

I traipse outside,
Gloved hands,
Armed with a bucket.
You understand:
For the remains
Of the uninvited guests.
That is my quest.
To tear from the earth
Their very roots
And then bring them to rest.

To start it is a hot, hot day
33 degrees in the shade.
The sun shines steadfast on my back
But determination,
I do not lack.

Straight to the beggars
My rubber gloves go
Only to meet my next fearless foe,
A wasp like creature advances on me.
I can’t say exactly what’s to hand
Being in a foreign land.
But one thing I know
He doesn’t want to go,
Buzzing at my legs
On the attack
All I can do is slap back,
Faster than me
He flits all around
Convinced of the gloves
I stand my ground,
But sure, I’ll be lunch once more
Like the mosquito, before.
Sucking my blood
And leaving a lump
For me to scratch and jump
To the chemist
For medication please,
That wretched pain to ease.

Won is the war with the buzzing beast
Thistles and Speedwell my eyes do feast
Away with you
My grip is tight
I pull
And tug
And heave
And rip.
Then come the ants to do their little bit.
I’ll tell you a fact,
Just between me and you:
I don’t like insects,
No not at all,
I know they’re only tiny
So miniature and small,
But I think, personally
It’s the way they do crawl.
It sends a shiver right up my back
My knees feel wobbly,
My palms are damp,
Thank God, I’ve never been forced to camp!

The ants are there
There’s them and there’s me
Ten thousand to one and they have six feet!
And nausea hits me in the mid day heat.
They run and they run as fast as they can,
I should have really thought about a jar of jam.
Disarm the foot soldiers!
And face those weeds head on
Battle of the ants having been won.

Weakened by the many feet
The suns strong beat
The wasp like fiend,
I was not, shall we say,
Particularly keen.
But come what may the weeds must out
Against all of Mother Natures clout,
I fought with Thistles, prickly thorns
The strong roots of grass
And even when my trusty gloves
Ripped alas
I strived on.
Until the very last weed, my friends
Was gone,
Into the bucket blue
I did not say good-bye to you,
Just took you to your resting place
Far away from my home gates!

Our door will welcome you, friends
Once more
With pretty flowers
silent feet
The ants, aplenty,
I can not delete…


8 thoughts on “It’s not all butterflies”

  1. I loved this poem, Sarah! I can imagine the trauma you went through completely – being not fond of creepy crawlies either. It’ll make Grant laugh too, so I’ve printed it off to show him at home (he loves creepie crawlies). Why, oh why, can’t we be at one with nature?
    PS – love to the brood.

  2. Hey Sarah:
    I, too, go out into the garden even though I cannot stand insects. Or dirt. But I like to grow my own veggies so off I go. I commend your diligence – the whole bug thing sounds nasty. Luckily you had those gloves!

    1. Good for you. I try really hard but I have a habit of killing things! The gloves were a great psychological boost through the whole trauma. Until I ripped them that is… But the work, luckily was almost completed by then.

  3. Fabulous! After having spent yesterday dragging reluctant weeds from our garden, I could really relate to this! I don’t mind insects though, it’s the huge wriggling worms that make me go ‘ew!’. Brilliant use of language, really enjoyed reading that. x

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