Going toe-to-toe with The Almighty
(With apologies to nobody)
by Eric Houston


Wacky me, whacking weeds, why do I hate Burdock so?
Was it not our dear Creator, that put them here to grow?
I know not why, I can't deny, my urgent need to kill
A helpless plant, that I must grant, is here by divine will.



The Errant Knights of Cambridge
(With apologies to Robert Service)
by Eric Houston


There are strange things done in the Fresh Pond sun, by the folks who tilt at weeds.
These suburban trails have their secret tales that immortalize our noble deeds,
The Glacken field kites have seen errant knights, and the latest among them must be,
the elite weed whackers and assorted slackers at Fresh Pond in the PRC.*

* Peoples Republic of Cambridge



The Charge of the Burdock Brigade
(With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
by Eric Houston


Whack a weed, whack a weed,
whack a weed onward,
In the valley of Death
The Burdock numbered six thousand.

Forward, with our deadly Spades!
Sally forth, noble Burdock Brigades!
(And please - don't forget your Holy Hand-grenades!)
(note reference to Monty Python)

'Then charge for the weeds' Jean and Emily said
Into the valley of Death
I drew my saber, and set out on my crusade.

Boldly I strode with my Deadly Spade!
Was I ever a man dismay'd?
Not tho' I somewhere knew
Mine was but a pointless charade...

Mine not to make reply,
Mine not to reason why,
Mine but to do; Burdock must die!
Soon, in the valley of Death,
the Burdock numbered five thousand.

Burdock to my right,
Burdock to my left,
Burdock in front of me
Boldly I strode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
I strode into the four thousand.

Flash'd my saber bare,
Flash'd as I turned in air
Sabering the Burdock there,
Charging an army while
passerby wonder'd:

What the hell is that guy doing there?

Plunged in the battery-smoke (writer's embellishment; unlike the charge of the Light Brigade, I have yet to encounter gunpowder smoke in my encounters with Burdock)
Right thro' the line I broke;
Burdock and Mugwort
Reel'd from my saber-stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then I strode back, but not
Not the three thousand.

Burdock to my right,
Burdock to my left,
Burdock behind
While Burdock and Mugwort fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left were two thousand.
    Then one thousand.

Then - without fanfare - there were none but pathetic stragglers, soon to join their fallen comrades. Our adversary had been vanquished. And we basked in our glory (writer's embellishment; other than the volunteers' dinner, there has been precious little glory in killing Burdock).

Oh when must our glory fade?
O the wild charge we made!
Does anyone care if we freed the violets from the shade?

Honor the charge we made!
Don't forget how many we flayed!
Honor the Burdock Brigade!
The Noble Burdock Brigade!