War of the Irises

a close up shot of a iris plant

Running underground rhizomes
and web of roots tangle, strangle
the Greek goddess of the rainbow
as if jealous of her beauty.
Green creeping Bermuda grass
stolons search for sunlight,
for anchor space among the tall blades
of the Iris while naked filaments creep
below ground stealing vitality
from rising stems, sheathed buds.
There will be no glorious bloom
to invite the bee into the erotic chamber.
No spectral color will grace the garden.
Fat tubers will wither, choked
in warp and woof of the strong enemy
if not rescued by hand, hoe and trowel,
replanted in new tilled earth
with room to grow, to sing
colors into the sky again.

Poem by Les Brown

Les Brown, Professor Emeritus of Gardner-Webb University attended Appalachian State University and the University of Southern Mississippi, has published poetry, visual art and short stories in journals including Pinesong, Kakalak, Reedy Branch Review, Main Street Rag, Still the Journal. and Moonshine Review. A Pushcart Nominee, Les lives in Troutman, NC. His chapbooks, “Cold Forge, 2022,” and “A Place Where Trees Had Names,” 2020, were published by Redhawk Publications.