Poet Commentaries

Transplanted Chibok Roses

The news from Nigeria and what happened to the Chibok girls is so horrible. I created this poem in empathy with them, taking images from harbours and nature.

Transplant shock is a natural phenomenon even when one is moved from good soil to better.  It takes a patient love, gentle pruners and much water to make successful.  Things never are as they were and it helps everyone to realize this.


the moorings untied;
bed covers unfold
ten steps to bathroom

She finds channel markers
of bedposts and door jambs.
Toes flap on worn floor
feeling out shoals
of sleeping dogs
and piled laundry.
The way to the lou.

From the next berth
a rope cinches
stretching and creaking
in the lap of her wake.
A dreamy breeze,
makes sails restless;
classmates rolls over.

a Chibok flag flaps
twigs crack, gravel rolls
her feet find cold tile


a trail of petals
even the Cabbage Rose
runs out

Two hundred Roses pulled out;
furious snaps of broken roots,
ripped velcro attachments
and torn ligaments.
Broken, bent and bruised,
parents and friends
mourn the holes in garden

Encroachment begins
the empty begins to fill,
slipping between folds
of burlap and denim.
Roots are sent down;
toes wriggle to coolness,
and limbs stretch out,
the covers pulled up.


transplant surgery
from the root
rhizomes yanked

Dream feeder roots
scrabble in hot dry gravel
and shattered shards of glass.
Their heart pierced through
by invasive rhizomes
of vile hate.

The once familiar bed back
filled with punky broken bits;
the favourite lip balm dry
the new toothbrush hard.
She tosses and turns,
pushes and shoves,
in the cool shade of love;
refinding her space.

encroach and relent
years of battle
companion plants


on my business web site a blog post about rhizomes

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