The Return of the Giant Hogweed

The Return of the Giant Hogweed

Nothing can stop them!

Paging through the April 1950 issue of National Geographic, and coming across a photo-documentary of the Royal Gardens at Kew, when suddenly a melody and Peter Gabriel’s voice sings to me. Cheers to the heroes of the soundtrack from my youth and one of my favorite albums of all time, Nursery Cryme, by Genesis, published in 1971, which I first heard in 1983, at age 14.

2018


c254 TURN AND RUN
(nothing can stop them;
around every river and canal
their power is growing)


c255 STAMP THEM OUT
(we must destroy them;
they infiltrate each city
with their thick dark warning odor)


c256 THEY ARE INVINCIBLE
(they seem immune to all our
herbicidal battering)


c257 LONG AGO IN THE RUSSIAN HILLS
(a Victorian explorer found
the regal Hogweed by a marsh;
he captured it and brought it home)


c258 BOTANICAL CREATURE STIRS,
SEEKING REVENGE
(royal beast did not forget)


c259 HE CAME HOME TO LONDON
(and made a present of the Hogweed
to the Royal Gardens at Kew)


c260 WASTE NO TIME
(they are approaching;
hurry now, we must protect ourselves
and find some shelter)




c261 STRIKE BY NIGHT
(they are defenseless;
they all need the sun
to photosensitize their venom)


c262 FASHIONABLE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN
(had some cultivated wild gardens;
in which they innocently planted
the Giant Hogweed
throughout the land)


c263 SOON THEY ESCAPED,
SPREADING THEIR SEED
(preparing for an onslaught;
threatening the human race)


c264 MIGHTY HOGWEED IS AVENGED!
(Human bodies
soon will know our anger!
Kill them with your
Hogweed hairs!
Heracleum Mantegazziani)


…………………………

All collages measure 12.7 x 10 cm, handmade with acid free adhesive on rag mat board, with Liquitex Gloss Varnish finish. National Geographic photos are by B. Anthony Scott and ©1950 NGS; reproductions of paintings by English masters (Arthur Devis, Francis Hayman, William Hogarth, Allan Ramsay, and Paul Sandby) came from a book of English painters; croquet imagery and text from the Skowhegan Croquet Rule Book, published by Forster Mfg. Co., Inc., of Wilton, Maine, in 1974; photographic images from Lands & Peoples, Vol. II, ©1929, 1930 The Grolier Society; and inkjet printed images of Heracleum mantegazzianum (The Giant Hogweed) downloaded from the internet in 2018.

Titles are the lyrics from The Return of the Giant Hogweed, written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, and Mike Rutherford (Genesis), and the copyright is assumed to belong to them. No intention here to claim ownership of any copyrighted material. Merely an homage and interpretation, paying respect to inspirational and influential artists.