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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 2, June 2018

Gerry Jacobson
Canberra, Australian Territory, Australia

The Underground Network

Subversive. Invasive. This tangled network with its roots deeply embedded. A terrorist gang? No, it’s couch grass in my veggie patch. Couch that thrived on hot wet January, thrives still in hot dry February. It’s intimately entangled with the potato crop, the rhubarb, the leeks. I seem to be attacked from all sides; and from underneath.

defending the borders
with rake and spade

In the cool of the early morning, my hands in the soil, I kneel to this most pernicious and persistent of weeds. Where does this couch grass come from? Our community garden once was sheep pasture. How I wish I just had ordinary weeds like dandelion or thistle. I loosen a clump of couch with a fork; crouch down and pull hard, trying to get those fine-haired roots. And strain a muscle in my back.

days of pain
and stiffness...
wounded in action

Note: In Australia, "couch grass" is Cynodon dactylon.



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