The Ridges Sanctuary

Preservation, Education, and Research

Invasive Species and … Poetry?

Posted on Sep 26, 2013 by Katie Krouse   Comments Off on Invasive Species and … Poetry? | Posted in Blog · Uncategorized

It’s doubtful there’s a Muse that governs paeans to invasive species … but then, you never know.  When one of our volunteers penned the poem below, we were inspired to do a little research.  Imagine our surprise to discover that in 2011, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program held their inaugural Invasive Species Poetry Contest.  That’s right – a contest entirely devoted to poems highlighting exotic invaders and the damage they do. The TBEP received more than 90 entries, and all forms of poetry – from haiku to free verse – were submitted by both adults and children. The collection was subsequently published on-line at

We haven’t decided to hold our own Invasive Species Poetry Contest yet, but if our volunteer’s poem — written after spending several hours in the field battling noxious Japanese Knotweed —   is any example, perhaps we ought to seriously consider it.

Japanese Knotweed Killers 

By Jan Wrede

We smote and killed.

No broken needle.

Some chemical remains.

Needle too large for small stalks.

Injector refill problematic.


Victim mortally wounded.

Time for mercy

And finishing spray?

When is the coup de gras?

Killers are ready

Battling the Invader

Battling the Invader

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