‘Let the forest come back’

A poem by Donatella Gasparro

Photo: XoMEoX, Flickr

This poem was first read at the Global Landscapes Forum Digital Conference 2020.

how wonderful the dandelions
taking over the lines of tulips
in your well maintained regularly cut lawn. how crazy they drive you
the thousands of white warriors
spreading as fast as a puff?
call them invasive, weeds
is there anything more real than this?
why keeping on faking it:
absolutely nothing is under control.

you’ve tried to fence it, confine it smooth it to roll
you’ve tried to sedate it
put it in boxes and square it simplify it for you to understand you’ve tried to organise it control it, exploit it

thought it could be measured and planned you pretended for long you could rule it but no: nothing out there is under control.

may the burdock grow stronger and taller may the nettles take over your garden don’t dare pulling out any oak
succession is not an ecological joke

it’s what everything wants to do: change grow wider, fill in every space
overflow and break every vase
escape their own rules when’s the case be like the root of the ground elder that’s creeping in your vegetable beds: be everywhere – re-sprout from scratch use every cue of a crack

if they put you in a line
start running in circles
throw your seeds in all directions
lignify your skin till the armour of the bark shade this land protect the young
let the forest come back.

About the author: Donatella Gasparro published her first collection of poems in Italian in 2017, Tenere casa in ordine (SECOP Edizioni), at the age of 22. She was a finalist in the 2015 and 2016 Italian Poetry Slam championships and has performed her poems at TEDx, Danone and the Global Landscapes Forum, among others. She holds a master’s in agroecology from Wageningen University & Research, where she currently works as an education assistant.


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