in clover

I’ve just won the 3rd Annual RiAus Sci-ku competition. (“Inspired by the Japanese haiku, sci-ku is a 3 line poem which gives us a flash of insight like the scientific “Eureka!” moment.)

2012 is the Year of the Farmer. My theme was the symbiosis of nature and agriculture as exemplified in the amazing way that the humble clover takes an inert gas from the atmosphere and uses it to improve our soils and food:


Clover, the farmer’s friend.
White nodule bacteria microfactories,
nature’s fertiliser mined from thin air.


This was a concentrated haiku version of a poem (Balansa Clover) published on the Stylus Poetry Journal ’way back in 2005:


Balansa clover


i sowed              this balansa clover

in one furrow at the top of the hill


knowing it was hardcoated

to survive the gut of sheep


to be broadcast in its own organic

fertilizer pellet   its           descendants spread through

an acre paddock.



i pull    at a clump teasing fibrous roots

from moist soil and marvel at white


nodules             microfactories of sym

biotic bacteria mining


nitrogen from the air

fertilizer for the                neighbours in this

community of plants.




Thanks to RiAus for supporting both connections between science and poetry and its generosity – my 3 line poem won me a Kindle Touch e-reader!

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