Beth McDonough




Aegopodium podagraria, a Praise Song.


Now, I’ll choose to love
this bishop weed’s

I shall admire
his knit-wire roots,
tenacious crazing
tangle- down
to anybody’s

I will hymn
some centurion’s aromatic
salad – grab
that verve and grist,
salute its Gallovidian indefatigability
Roman invincibility,
roaming in Scotland’s slushing wet
or three-month frost.

I will now shout
exactly how to pound
tasty wild-form pesto, not accept
some basil-puny
imposter from
the Co.

I can sing at starry undie whites
of fecund umbel flowers,
encourage them to sprint
to seed – should  their under-
soil capilliaries prove
inadequate. I’d hate
to be unable to worship
this mighty
bishop weed.




Beth McDonough’s poetry appears in Gutter, Antiphon and elsewhere; she reviews in DURA. Her pamphlet Handfast with Ruth Aylett (2016, Mother’s Milk Books, available on Amazon UK) explores family experiences – Aylett’s of dementia and McDonough’s of autism.

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