fields of strife

Fields of wild strife—

I see purple flower clusters,

fires raging in B.C., Greece, California

unending warfare in faraway places,

my good fortune singed with sorrow.

:

Note: I use ‘strife’ to refer to the purple wildflower, ‘loosestrife’, as well as for the standard meaning: conflict and struggle.

The poem is intended to be a Gogyohka, a modern Japanese five-line poem with fewer requirements than a classical tanka.

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #45 Gogyohka

13 thoughts on “fields of strife

  1. interesting new dimension to this – the interplay of words … strife indeed, and for those familiar with the purple kind, well, they know how destructive it can be … so this is a fascinating response and direction for the gogyohka ~ I like this, it’s creative and unusual!

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    1. Thank you, Pat. I have read about the invasive nature of loosestrife but have no firsthand knowledge of it…only having appreciated it from a distance as in the photo ( and deciding against taking a specimen for closer study, not wanting to carry a possible invasive to my property). It is interesting how there is conflict connected to it not only in its name but in it our view of its invasiveness.

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      1. It depends on the variety – there are some varieties less invasive, cultivars, but anything taken from a wild space, chances are it will be a huge problem, especially in the “right” conditions. In fact, it’s considered a very big problem for overtaking and upsetting/destroying the eco. balance/systems in areas, and quite a few cities have banned it in private use, hence the newer cultivars. So it’s not a bad thing you didn’t cull from the wild, which for most plants, isn’t a good idea anyhow. The cultivars, which are readily available at good quality nurseries are “safe” alternatives and actually, when it’s in a good home, (properly placed in a border) it acts as a wonderful attractive plant for all kinds of “good critters” … so every plant has it’s benefits too. And generally, it’s a low maintenance perennial, which is an added bonus!

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      2. I’m peering at the image … to double check it’s actually loosestrife … it’s a bit hard to tell for certain, but it could very well be, although most loosestrife does really well in a “wetter” area than dry. And from some of the other trees in the image, it might be a “swampier” area – or lower, for poor drainage etc. So it might be, or then again, it could be something else. Generally, loosestrife, once established (I’m referring to the wild kind) is hard to shake … and some seasons, are indeed, better for it than others. It can tolerate drier conditions, even the cultivars, but it then becomes really “woody” and tends to dry out along the stalks. But then, most “wild flowers” are cyclical – by their own rhythms (I’m not including loosestrife in this category of “wild” – because it really has no business being here, even as it is really pretty. It’s a bit like those giant plumes of pampa grass. Same problem with the invasion.)

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      3. These are growing in wetland areas… it’s hard for me to gauge their height from the car….a bit of a mystery. I did read there is a native kind of strife so I am hoping perhaps it’s that kind…

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