Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thorny vines; seven bundles

thorny vines
snaking through the hardwoods
one by one
I yank them out, serpents
from Medusa's head

—Atlas Poetica, Summer 2012

seven bundles
of branches and vines
and on my arms
these long red scratches
I'll wear till they heal

—Atlas Poetica, Autumn 2012

Can you see the vines dangling down from this tall, old oak of ours? These are ones we cut—as high as we could reach, that is—but back down at the ground they're growing fast again. Often vines, these or wild grape, coil around trunks and snake circuitously through branches. They literally zap the life out of trees. I've removed quite a few, though once I fell backwards off a ladder doing so. Hope this tree makes it, between Medusa's serpents and the droughts.


  1. Yes, I can see them--even without the photo! Yard work becomes mythic in your poems.

  2. It IS mythic here in this forest where I live. ;)

  3. I hope you can save the tree. We have poison ivy here which I have to kill without killing the trees in the process.


  4. Adelaide - It finally started producing leaves, which is a good sign. Now, if we only could get a bit more rain! (And we've got to dig up the vines too, which have huge root systems.)

  5. a nice pairing. these two belong together. love the story, too. so glad you didn't get hurt any worse! yard work can be tough. i leave it for the hubbles! lol! stace