Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Maartje Smits

HOW I STARTED A FOREST IN MY BATHROOM

seduced by portable supermarket ferns
gardenless creatures like me hardly ever thirsty but
IKEA GREENERY IS GOOD
and potted plants suck up stress

the fern was no fern
a woman gazed clean and free from packaging
she breathed Air Purifying Plant Mix®
tested by NASA and TNO

at home I heard

trees talk underground
about weather
the climate is changing they trade
fungi with super powers
transfer calming minerals
to a household account

a single tree barely exists
a single fern does not deserve the name
I bought another
and a third
I bought the entire last tray
of mix

until a shelf-stacker cautioned me
in Suriname you have to fight nature
or she takes over
first your garden then your house your
bed your shower curtain

but these days, forests grow indoors
rows of inert toadstools pointing the way
is the word overgrown even still used here

how could I ever have dared
to distinguish myself from plants
where did the mix begin and I

watched my barelyferns grow lonely
on the windowsill
side by side in plastic earthenware
which repels everything
roots penetrating compulsive thoughts

my plant mix cried in the shower
where I depotted and buried their flaccid underbellies
in the cut-out soil

then I carried the remaining
indoor greenery upstairs

HOE IK EEN BOS BEGON IN MIJN BADKAMER

HOE IK EEN BOS BEGON IN MIJN BADKAMER

verleid door handzame varens in de supermarkt
tuinloze wezens zoals ik amper dorst maar
IKEA GROEN IS GOED
en kamerplanten zuigen stress

de varen bleek geen varen
een vrouw keek vrij en schoon van verpakking
ze ademde Luchtzuiverende Plantenmix®
getest door NASA en TNO

thuis hoorde ik

bomen praten ondergronds
over het weer
veranderde klimaat ze ruilen
schimmels met superpowers
storten kalmerende mineralen
op een huishoudrekening

één boom bestaat amper
één varen mag geen varen heten
ik kocht een tweede
een derde
ik kocht het hele laatste treetje
mix

tot de vulploegmedewerker mij vermaande
in Suriname moet je vechten tegen de natuur
anders neemt ze alles over
eerst je tuin dan je huis je
bed je douchegordijn

maar bossen groeien tegenwoordig binnen
de lijntjes statische paddenstoelen langs de weg
is overwoekeren in Nederland nog wel een woord

hoe had ik me ooit van planten
durven onderscheiden
waar begon de mix en ik

zag mijn nauwelijksvarens vereenzamen
op de vensterbank
naast elkaar in kunststof aardewerk
waar alles op afketst
wortels die dwanggedachten ingroeien

mijn plantenmix huilde onder de douche
waar ik hun weke onderlijven ontpotte en begroef
in de uitgeknipte aarde

daarna droeg ik het overige
kamergroen naar boven
Close

HOW I STARTED A FOREST IN MY BATHROOM

seduced by portable supermarket ferns
gardenless creatures like me hardly ever thirsty but
IKEA GREENERY IS GOOD
and potted plants suck up stress

the fern was no fern
a woman gazed clean and free from packaging
she breathed Air Purifying Plant Mix®
tested by NASA and TNO

at home I heard

trees talk underground
about weather
the climate is changing they trade
fungi with super powers
transfer calming minerals
to a household account

a single tree barely exists
a single fern does not deserve the name
I bought another
and a third
I bought the entire last tray
of mix

until a shelf-stacker cautioned me
in Suriname you have to fight nature
or she takes over
first your garden then your house your
bed your shower curtain

but these days, forests grow indoors
rows of inert toadstools pointing the way
is the word overgrown even still used here

how could I ever have dared
to distinguish myself from plants
where did the mix begin and I

watched my barelyferns grow lonely
on the windowsill
side by side in plastic earthenware
which repels everything
roots penetrating compulsive thoughts

my plant mix cried in the shower
where I depotted and buried their flaccid underbellies
in the cut-out soil

then I carried the remaining
indoor greenery upstairs

HOW I STARTED A FOREST IN MY BATHROOM

seduced by portable supermarket ferns
gardenless creatures like me hardly ever thirsty but
IKEA GREENERY IS GOOD
and potted plants suck up stress

the fern was no fern
a woman gazed clean and free from packaging
she breathed Air Purifying Plant Mix®
tested by NASA and TNO

at home I heard

trees talk underground
about weather
the climate is changing they trade
fungi with super powers
transfer calming minerals
to a household account

a single tree barely exists
a single fern does not deserve the name
I bought another
and a third
I bought the entire last tray
of mix

until a shelf-stacker cautioned me
in Suriname you have to fight nature
or she takes over
first your garden then your house your
bed your shower curtain

but these days, forests grow indoors
rows of inert toadstools pointing the way
is the word overgrown even still used here

how could I ever have dared
to distinguish myself from plants
where did the mix begin and I

watched my barelyferns grow lonely
on the windowsill
side by side in plastic earthenware
which repels everything
roots penetrating compulsive thoughts

my plant mix cried in the shower
where I depotted and buried their flaccid underbellies
in the cut-out soil

then I carried the remaining
indoor greenery upstairs
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