In the morning, the new sprouted leaves
of basil in the earthen pot have been chewed
to lace. I’m not sure how it happens, for I
never see the slugs, though I’ve read
of a woman’s account of how she
watched one for months while bedridden,
and could hear it chewing on a leaf
of celery. I wonder, why don’t they defend
themselves? The yellow roses have
their spurs. The broad leaves of comfrey
are mean enough to drop into a salve
or tincture. Even the hordes of wild
garlic heads aim their spears at a sky
that threatens another day of rain.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Landscape, with Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
- El Sagrado Corazon
- Three (More) Improvisations
- The Gift
- Goldfinch in the Garden
- What Cannot Eat
- Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser
- Petition to Fullness
- Heart you Want to Lead in from the Cold
- Unending Lyric
- Dear modest four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath
- Ode to the Pedicure Place at the Mall
- Letter to Attention
- Landscape, with Incipient Questions
- Letter to Stone
- Milagrito: Eye of the Raven
- What You Don’t Always See
- Going to the Acupuncturist in the Market
- Migrant Letters
- The Road of Imperfect Attentions
- In the Country of Lost Hours
- Morning Lesson
- Song of the Seamstress’s Daughter
- Landscape, with Construction Worker, Ants, and Gull
- End Times
- Dream Landscape, with Ray-bans and Leyte Landing
- Pantoum, with Spiderweb and Raindrops
- Landscape, with Variations in Allegory
- Assassin’s Wake
- Private: Each Question is Always the Same Question
- Shroud Villanelle
- Dear Annie Oakley,
- Landscape, with Red Omens
- Late Summer Landscape, with Twilight and Daughters
- Ghazal of Unattainable Silence
- Distance, Then
- Noon Prayer
- In the Convent of Perpetual Adoration
- State of Emergency
- Storm Warning
- Goodbye, Irene
- The Lovers
- Dream of the Four Directions
- Lost Lyric
- Dear recklessness, dear jeweled
- Bearing Fire
6 Replies to “Defense”
Hey, glad my mom’s column could serve as a source of inspiration!
I’ve been reading about all the many, fiendishly clever ways in which plants do defend themselves. Seems like most of our medicine derives from that: the chemicals plants have evolved to ward off predators. The essential oils in basil that give it its distinctive flavor are presumably there for some such reason. But obviously they aren’t proof against molluscs.
Dave, I guess I was just grumpy that the new leaves have all been turned to swiss lace. Sigh. There go my plans for a caprese salad.
My sympathies. Basil is the best!
I’ve heard you can put out little bottle caps of beer and the slugs will drink that rather than eating your basil. Don’t know if they fall in and drown or just go sleep it off and forget to eat. . .
Little caps/cups of beer! Sounds crazy but I will try it :) Thanks Beth.
I think the idea is to not only get them drunk, but to trap them for easy disposal. I’ve never done it, though. Googling turns up plenty of hits, such as this.