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Canola field near Lockhart, NSW - photo: Warren Mars

In my lifetime I have observed the rise to prominence of the humble canola plant aka "rape". Vast fields of the stuff may be seen over most of the arable land in Australia. It also has a distinctive aroma when in flower which is not quite as attractive as that of the rose...

I was inspired to write this poem after viewing some lovely photos of canola fields in Tasmania, taken by my friend Alan To.

Oh humble plant canola, tell me, why do I love thee?
Thy honey sought by apiarists in greatest quantity.
Thy breath is like the blood and bone, that wafteth from afar,
Thy blossom like a sea of gold that greets me from my car.

And when in time thy slender pods are ready ripe to drop,
Thou yieldest up in selfless act a bounteous paying crop.
And from thy seeds a wond'rous oil that fries my chips so well
And makes a biodiesel fine our vehicles to propel.

'Tis true the GM curse on thee has tainted thy good name
And selling farmers sterile seed a massive crying shame.
But still I say of farmèd plants of varied size and shape,
There's few that can compare with thee, thou humble, common rape.

Warren Mars - October 2014