poetry and prose about place

have grape vines, will not prune

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I have planted grape vines in quite a few places on our properties over the years.


At our cabin, one vine survives, climbing an inch or two each year on an arbor we built. The cabin lot was supposed to be great for growing grapes — a sunny slope, the temperature-modifying lake and breezes to discourage insects.


However, the vines have not been thriving. This year for the first time, I have a scrawny bunch of grapes.




The vines at home in our garden do thrive, although the light is scarce. Each year I have a few small bunches of grapes.



my grapes, wandering about in the birch tree


The vine at the back of the house is amazing. Without pruning, it has climbed high into the maple and fir trees. But an unpruned apple tree keeps the light low. Pruning, that must be the key!







Grape vines climb

high into maple.

Feign kudzu.

Burden the balsam,

bend branches.


Grape leaves flare,

arrange themselves, nip

every ray.

Mosses and bracken

starved for light.


But apple

demands its revenge.

Sends shadows

to starve chlorophyll.

Bullies grape.


Teases leaves

with flecks of half-light.

Grapevine sets

no fruit this season.


Not a single grape.



All my best!






Written by jane tims

September 17, 2018 at 7:00 am

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