Railway sidings, forgotten chimneys, sites of neglect,
always blooming, always waiting forlornly to be trimmed,
not knowing it has been forgotten, or cannot be reached
except through exorbitant effort, and then only hacked.

The Reverend Adam Buddle knew nothing of this.
His expertise was bryophytes (mosses and liverworts)
but for Linnaeus he was a part of a rich botanical history
and it was his turn to be named (next on the list)

in honour of strange seeds arriving from the East.
Who knew how extensively they would colonise,
so that you can now look neither out nor up
without a sighting of buddleia through industrial mist.

The butterfly plant, though in some regions
they also attract hummingbirds; they can be most colours
of the rainbow – pink, blue, yellow, dull pastel shades –
in America, long red flowers; bees in thronging legions.

Here, they hold roofs together, rise upright from the wall,
wave wildly in breezes from nowhere, seem to say,
‘Look: forget your urban empire; your feeble pruning shears
mean less than nothing to me. I will outlast you all’.