Down in the darkest corridors of municipalia
is where the seed must’ve come from,
nurtured no doubt by a quirky computer
about the time of the Garden Festival.
It was to be Merthyr’s own shrub:
a plant ideally suited to the area,
only needing to be oiled every ten years,
never losing its metallic beetroot colour.
‘What should we call it?’
discussed the Parks committee:
‘Mini triffid?’ ‘Spike drunkard?’
‘ow about an ever ‘ard?’
Without realising their irony,
because a stalwart councillor, after too many beers,
slipped on his way to a spaghetti
and skewered himself on the castiron cactus!
‘DESTROY KILLER PLANTS!’ screamed the local press,
but law and order merchants were impressed
by its vicious leaves and bought thousands
to surround the Civic Centre, school and institutions.
Soon the forked flora had spread everywhere
threatening the soles of stray vandals,
so the Council named it ‘Psychodahlia’
and the computer was made into mayor.
by Mike Jenkins
from This House, My Ghetto
Additional information: Mike Jenkins (born 1953) is a Welsh poet, story writer and novelist writing in English. He taught English at Radyr Comprehensive School in Cardiff for nearly a decade and Penydre High School, Gurnos, Merthyr Tydfil, for some two decades before that. At the end of the 2008–2009 academic year Jenkins took voluntary redundancy. He now writes full-time, capitalising on experiences gleaned from former pupils. He continues to live in Merthyr Tydfil, and has done so for over 30 years. He is also the father of Plaid Cymru politician Bethan Sayed née Jenkins MS and journalist Ciaran Jenkins.