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Grandmother's Footsteps

This is a time of sudden growth, and nothing seems to grow faster than brambles.

I'm reminded of that children's game, when the challenge is for the approachers to see how close they can get to touching you in the few moments you're looking away, those long arms extending just far enough before their weight tips them towards the ground, to start all over again...

And I think how quickly the post-apocalyptic world would be covered by looping hoops emerging from wood and hedge, from each and every edge, reaching ever further, even venturing into water, deterred by nothing much...

Perhaps this was the original world, after or at least outside Eden - a landscape criss-crossed by arching brambles.

You've got to have a certain admiration for the bramble, so determined it is.

And well-equipped - what with that ability to progress in prostrate, clambering or flying mode, all those arms and weapons - hidden prickles on leaves, thorns on stems - the huge number of varieties equipping it for all sorts of situations, those inviting fruits which make it attractive to man, bird and insect, thus ensuring maximum spread of its seeds...

More dots, which somehow seem appropriate...

It's not easy to fight.

I tussle with it every year.  Armed with heavy gloves, secateurs, fork and billhook, like a medieval peasant going to war, I think I'm winning, but even then it gets me with a prickle or two, if not a slash across the face.

It will go on much longer than me, not to say us.
I know it will win eventually.


I am a bramble


I am a bramble
well-armed and booted.
Ready to go
any time at all

when you’re not looking
I’ll travel on.
We don’t hang about
you wait and see

I’ll fling out my limbs
over the gap.
I’m tender tipped
to grasp the earth

fanning my fingers
every point ready.
I will take root
nearer to you

and start again.
We are connected
and all go back
a very long way.

Just turn away
and one of these days
you’ll be surprised
at our advance

to reclaim all
that once was ours
before you arrived
to hack us back.

Till then I’ll continue
feeding the flies while
preparations proceed
to trip you up.





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