Texts from The Earth Diaries

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raspberry sage

brilliant pink-red flower-hooks beckon lust
dense-green green leaves
practice a butoh sensibility
who notices this ribald herb amongst the other sages?
whose knowledge is ripe enough for such a sagery?

nettle

They pushed her hard into the bank of nettles and ran for it. She arches at the pain and gasps to get away from them, but slips instead forwards into another stinging embrace. This time she stumbles to her muddied feet and slaps the violent fronds away from her, and climbs out of the low ditch. She looks in an arc across the fields. Sees no one, but smells the scent of poison on the breeze. Her small body is a hive of pain. Tears mingle with earth on a red cheek. Urine dribbles down her thigh, leaving a stinging trail earthwards.

rosemary

She winds rosemary around his warm neck. Its fragrance rises. She pulls it a little tighter than is necessary. Something in his stomach clutches, and he opens his eyes. She leans closer to him ‘Remember me’ she says, and one of the rosemary leaves pierces his skin.

chamomile

the six of them half-run through the undergrowth
(giggling shudders in night’s branches)
when they find the clearing
its’ space expands them
elbows slip around waists –
pretending waltzes
others remember polkas
and wind squealing partners
in urgent spirals

something wanes
stillness
some of them are slumped peeking for stars
others hold lovers close
but all of them smell it at the same time ––
the rising caress of chamomile,
crushed by twelve scurrying feet
hands squeeze hands
and the night’s chamomile breath
moves memory amongst them
like a gentle ghost


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