Issue 1: Christine Kennedy

A Herbal Amulet for Geraldine Monk

Goat’s Rue

Galega Officinalis

Erythronium dens Canis

Dog’s Tooth Violet

Rattle Grass



Angelica Archangelica


Ligusticum Levisticum

Dog Rose

Rosa Canina



Narcissus Pseudonarcissus

Common Daffodil

Eruca Sylvestris

Wild Rocket


Viscous Quercus


Sedum Telephium

Nasturtium Aquatica Sisymbrium

Water Cresses


Galium Aparine


smooth apt and pale

abiding long

somewhat broad, elegant and blunt

governed by the Moon’s

                       well of


reeds red when ripe boiled in wine

drawing out dimming sight



and the Moon in her good aspect

defends and comforts the sad heart



smooth and shining

divided into many parts



known to do great things

of pleasant grateful acidity


                        in sweetness

the leaves are nervous, broad

the roots gargled in the mouth

                        help pains and noises

                        in the ears

Lidelillies, Daffy-downdillies

pressed out with some white-wine

                        against all corrupt


expels worms and other noisesome creatures

leaves with slender cuts and jags

                        strikes into the


a powerful attractive ripens and discusses

the juice dropped into the ears

                        one flat heart-fashioned


rising greater than the wild in shadowy fields

the Moon bound to the throat

                        hurt or wound


consumes gross humours winter left behind

hot sharp horns spread forth at night

                        in the morning

                        washed away

fitting for the change of season that is coming

closing up the lips of green wounds

                        in experience

the seed is ripe and falleth

whence it springeth up again

and not from the old roots

and the body will not be bound

This text was written for and performed at the UK launch of The Salt Companion to Geraldine Monk in Sheffield, September 2007. Medicinal plants from Culpeper’s Herbal spell out her name in acrostic, and the Culpeper text is then distilled in sequence.

Christine Kennedy is a writer and artist based in Sheffield. She specialises in works which combine the visual and the verbal. Her recent publications include Nineteen Nights in San Francisco (West House Books / The Cherry On The Top Press, 2007); and, with David Kennedy, a contribution to The Salt Companion to Geraldine Monk.

Copyright © 2008 by Christine Kennedy, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.