This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Ghazal Mosadeq Poem
The Apple of the Moors

You know what I think these days? It just dawned on me there is the cation-anion balance in different tissues of tomato plants supplied with nitrate, urea, or ammonium nitrogen in water culture. You too, think about plant physiology and nutrition when you are bored?

Now am sipping on carrot juice and am pretty certain that if I think more about tomatoes I might even find a very close balance found in the tissues investigated (leaves, petioles, stems, and roots) between total cations (Ca, Mg, K and Na), and total anions (NO3−, H2PO4−, SO4−−, Cl−) total non-volatile organic acids, oxalate, and uronic acids. You might look at all tomatoes differently. Or not. Anyways, J. Benton Jones Jr. thinks tomatoes are more popular than beef steaks.

What are we to do for a tomato plant? Have we ever checked the astrological chart of the plant? Were the 1500s Spanish and Portuguese explorers who spotted the plant in South America, real explorers? What were they doing in Mexico? Did they set sail with the hope of finding a red, round, juicy, tomatoee thing to bring back home? From what they left in the continent, a language has survived and lots of wounds. From what they took, the tomato is remained, which is red.

Peru, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Chile.
Tomato is grown for its beauty.
The colonials found it poisonous. But who is more poisonous, really.
Now it is a major food. It is better than the fish fingers.

But we must protect tomato against late blight elicited by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, you know? Say gold apple. Say Wolf Peach. Say Apple of Love. Love aid aphrodisiac puritan killer. Claimed independence and remained wild in Andes. Once spotted in a gumbo soup, puréed and smooth. Forced through a sieve. Separated from the seeds and skin. Destroyed its ionic balance. Dripping down the spoon on white shirts. A cluster of seeds on the sieve. Look at the sky. Not now, at night. When it’s dark. Redeem the stars. Even if they appear poisonous, they can’t rub you out that rapidly. Takes million light years for the poison to transfer. Talk about real distance here. You’ll be dead in million years by a tomato star and astronauts will spot no physical murderer.  Now I am thinking about a murder case associated with vegetables and galaxies. And am thinking of the supreme court of justice. I imagine killer tomatoes, hot tomatoes, tomato-fatals. Sexy nightshades. Homegrown killers. Decorative and mysterious.




Benton Jones, Jr., Tomato Plant Culture; In the Field, Greenhouse, and Home Garden. Second Edition. CRC Press, 2007
E.A. Kirkby, K. Mengel, Ionic Balance in Different Tissues of the Tomato Plant in Relation to Nitrate, Urea, or Ammonium Nutrition. American Society of Plant Biologists, 1968
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