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Seed Shells, a Poem by Lynn White

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

The first seeds were sown a long time ago.

When these small seed shells burst open

they were scattered locally.

They grew patchily at first, in Palestine, in Israel,

in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world.

There were only little streams to irrigate

and fertilise them, so they often failed to thrive.

But that was then.

Now the shells have grown bigger

and the seeds have flown further.

Further and further.

And the streams have grown wider and longer.

And more nutritious.

When the seed shells have burst in this century,

they found ground that was even more fertile.

So more and more has come under cultivation,

irrigated and fertilised now from rivers,

rivers of blood.

So well irrigated,

so well nurtured and tended that

the patches of brown soil became rare indeed.

But there were some.

Later seeds spread wider over Gaza.

As larger seed shells broke and splintered

they found and colonised new areas

outside the brown patches

where it was now easy to germinate and thrive.

Now even trees could grow there and send out suckers

into the newly bloodied green places.

Soon there was a wood with dense undergrowth.

The rivers were torrents now

bloody torrents

with plenty of irrigation channels.

Now more seeds have flown. Ever bigger

seed shells are exploding and unloading

their crop of giant seeds.

The wood is a forest now,

a forest of giants now spreading their own seed

in the already fertile ground,

spreading it ever more thickly,

growing ever taller.

A forest of hate,

a writhing, spitting jungle

that we are unable to cut down.

First published in 'Guide to Kulchur,' 2016.


Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Gyroscope Review and So It Goes. Find Lynn at:and


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