Here are a couple of new poems from recent days.
This year I am participating in the Reforesters program at the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, a preserve near where I live. The purpose of this program is to reclaim and reforest lands that were originally forest but after a century or so of being farmland and then neglected are full of elderly trees and invasive species. Over time areas are being replanted with trees, but they need caring for until they are larger to keep them from being overwhelmed by vines and fast-growing bushes that smother them, and the deer who eat them or rub against them and injure them.
I (with my husband) have been assigned an area in which we will care for the tiny trees as well as clear land for the future planting of more trees. Currently our section, called the West Power Line Corridor, is a tangle of wild roses, brambles, spicebush, and privet hedge, quite dense, with a few large tall trees. It’s gotten into this state because the tree canopy, mostly ash, has been killed off by the emerald ash borer, which is destroying pretty much the entire population of ash trees in Pennsylvania. The invasives thrive in the sunlight in the areas now exposed by the loss of the bigger trees’ shade and drive away the wildlife and plants that formerly grew.
The idea is that we will clear land and get it ready for new trees. It is a big area and will take a lot of time. I am looking forward to it. I am also grateful for the opportunity to give back to a place where I have hiked or run or walked for the past 15 years or so.
But right now, well, our section is best described as kind of scruffy. This shadorma chain tells you how I feel about things right now as we start out.
West Power Line Corridor
it’s you versus me
leg of land
wired up with switchy whips of
wild rosebushes and
octopi with the
bush whose name
I can’t remember but yes
I know to avoid
ow that hurts
But, Scruffy, hear this:
I’ve put my
gloves on. It’s
Pruners up! and make some room –
Trees are coming home.
This poem came about when my husband remarked a week or so ago that a forty-degree day seemed warm! And I reflected on why this was so.
When It All Turns
When you step outside
and seven degrees above freezing
is suddenly a warm morning
leading you to decide to forget
that you really do need your gloves
when the half-melted snowbank
looks diminished and on the run
rather than dangerous and
threatening more of the same
it’s all because a lone daffodil – the first one –
blooms in the sunny spot
at the roots of the tree