Two poems by Louis James

Illustration by Elle Romaine, an MA Illustration graduate.

Illustration by Elle Romaine, an MA Illustration graduate.

part 1, dandelions

if the dandelions tried to be human,

what would we learn?

what is a human to a dandelion?

something to disperse our seeds when it’s stunted

and can’t bloom without exhaling its wishes—

something that wants to become a dandelion again

(at great pain and risk).

but their great clay castles

with their burnt-orange arteries

do not trap or doom our beds.

if humans knew what to expect from the dandelions,

what would they learn?

the humans are not so different from weeds.

they are not captives to the dandelion’s roots.

still, they are seedlings, they struggle to flit,

still dappled with urges

(at great pain and risk).

come tend your gardens;

our seed-heads are lonely too.

part 2, seed-heads

we still remember you, human beings;

are you masters

of your gardens,

or the slaves? and how

do you intend to treat us

aware, now, that the vines

will wrest their whims?

do your desires now go beyond

coveting air

and pleasure?

you can have them together, free,

(there is no pain, no risk,)

just ask.

but like the dandelion,

your roots won’t budge

so let’s both let go

and live our own lives.

when we are ready to work together, we can create ourselves as new plants;

a dandelion might know that even if it leaves a world behind,

it grows a new one the next day.

when it is ripe and rises through the heavens it knows it’s not alone;

the children and the seeds,

we are creating our world with what we have

so that we might enjoy the next one we find.

by Louis James