Poetry Friday

[Poetry Friday]: Uprooted & Thrown

poetry friday

Iphigene here.

I was asked a few weeks back that if I were to create a symbol to summarize my life, having lived through all the givens of my life, what symbol would I create. I went through the process of thinking of wonderful, stereotypical images. I thought of the phoenix rising from the ashes, a seedling pushing through the seed’s walls and a bird soaring. In the end, though, none of them felt real to me. None of these beautiful images felt right.

What felt right was an image of a weed. Not THAT weed, but the ones most gardeners pull out from the soil. In the process of accepting the truth of this image, I found myself whispering the lines “You are weed, trampled on, unwanted, uprooted and thrown.” Back then, I didn’t think if would work itself into a poem, but it did. I think, to date, this is the most personal poem I have shared on here. For once, I didn’t hide too much behind the words. I hope you enjoy it and thank you Buffy for hosting today’s poetry Friday.


You are weed

by Iphigene

You are weed
Trampled on, unwanted
Uprooted and thrown

Lowly weed,
Who cares for you?
Who cultivates your soil
And waters you?

In the harshest of places
You come forth
Pushing your gangly leaves
Where little soil may be.

You are weed,
Trampled on, unwanted
Uprooted and thrown

Homeless, a nomad
In nature’s path
Standing tall in between
Rocks and concrete floors

Greeting the world
With assertion on existence
Against all that is

You are weed,
Trampled on, unwanted
Uprooted and thrown

But made,
gently by the heavens
pouring upon you
Light and rain, nourishing
Your raggedness
Each day.

Morning dew against
Your spiny blade
Whispering the words
‘I see you, I love you,
Let me grow you.’

For you are weed,
The world may throw you
But you are her child
Held dearly upon her breast.

22 comments on “[Poetry Friday]: Uprooted & Thrown

  1. This is really touching Ipphigene. I like the repeated lines: You are weed,
    Trampled on, unwanted
    Uprooted and thrown
    But I am also glad for the closing line. Lovely.


    • Thank you Sally.
      As i mentioned in the post, realizing I was a weed was painful, but it was the truth. In the process of seeing myself as a weed, I saw it that despite being uprooted, unwanted and thrown, someone cared for me. It took me a while to see that. 🙂


  2. This breaks my heart until I find the surprising strength & realization at the end.

    We recently attended a native plant society meeting & I feel a group such as that would so welcome knowing this connection between weeds & people.


    • I’m learning so much about nature and how its so free in that it is cared for by the heavens. It’s such a wonderful source of metaphor for human life. I find comfort in being a weed, in that while unwanted, thrown and trampled on, still cared for by nature itself. thanks for dropping by


  3. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful personal reflection. Like Sally, I, too, found the repetition were powerful. Don’t know if you had any particular Scripture verse(s) in mind when you composed your poem; as a reader, one came immediately to mind, since I’ve been thinking about it. In fact, I almost photographed some gently blowing weeds yesterday, in case I ever felt inspired to connect the verse with a photo-poem: “A bruised reed He will not break…” (Matt. 12:20). God bless you for giving voice better than I ever could to that verse. Thanks again for sharing!


    • You are welcome.
      There was no particular scriptural verse in mind when I wrote this, but it was written under the influence of retreat and a reflection on the Exodus. That’s a lovely verse though, thank you for sharing that. 🙂


  4. I’m glad that you found a metaphor that rang true for you. As someone who studies healing plants (botanical medicine), I think that weeds are great! There are so many plants that are typically considered “weeds” that are healing and wonderful. As Winnie the Pooh said, “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got all excited by the idea that you study healing plants. 🙂 Your comment felt heaven sent as I realize that my being a weed was what made me a ‘healer’ (i’m a psychologist).
      Oh, and that Winnie the Pooh quote is beautiful….that hit a chord. I’m glad you dropped by. 🙂


  5. I just read Tara’s poem shared about words that hurt, and wonder, after reading your poem, how this idea of ‘weed’ moved into your life? Was it words, events, and with the ending, it seems you realized that weeds are strong, and those ‘heavens’ acknowledge you and keep you going. It’s a powerful poem, Iphigene. I feel like many would feel a kinship to it.


    • Hi Linda,
      My growing affinity towards nature and the wildness of it was maybe at the heart of the image of a ‘weed.’ It was the strongest image I had that would capture my whole history–the abandonment, the neglect, and the persistence in surviving. There were too many events/words that reinforced the idea of abandonment and neglect. But yes, there were those who saw the weed, watered it and cultivated it. I owe my life to a number of people. 🙂


  6. Beautiful and moving.


  7. Beautiful, Iphigene–I love the way the image of weed changes in the course of the poem from trampled on and unwanted to loved and held dearly. (Aside: I’ve got a weed garden [some would call them native plants] in my yard and those weeds are strong, hardy, and successful!)


    • Hi Buffy,
      thank you for picking up on the change. If anything, my acknowledgement of being a weed had a positive impact. Only when we accept how our personal history shaped us would also allow us to see the beauty within it.
      I am elated by the idea that truly there are people who actually grow weeds. 🙂


  8. Some of my favorite flowers some people consider weeds (pinks, buttercups, purple clover). Stand proud little weed!


    • Thank you! I am amazed how my metaphor/symbol has brought about a realization that literally there are people who appreciate weeds. I suppose the world has enough people who can see the weeds and cultivate them. 🙂 I’m definitely standing proud! thank you for dropping by.


  9. Wow…that repeating stanza was powerful. I imagine this was a difficult poem to write, and share. Thank you for doing so, Iphigene.


  10. maryleehahn

    I, too, love the repeating stanza, and the shift from powerless to powerful. Most of all, I love the energy of affirmation in these comments. You are weed (as many of us are), but you/we are appreciated and important for the biological diversity of the world!!


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