poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘fairy ring


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If the space you occupy, your niche, has benefits to nourish, lift and sustain you, it also has its pitfalls, its dangers.  Animals know this and their adaptations to their habitat are as much about avoiding danger as they are about obtaining food or shelter.

Think about the Groundhog family in the grey woods behind our house (see post ‘the location of our picnic table‘ August 20,2011, category ‘wild life’).  The Groundhog’s tunnels are designed to provide shelter and food storage, but they are also designed for checking out the enemy and for quick escape.

Like the Groundhog, I try to prepare for the pitfalls.  I have an emergency kit, including water and a flashlight, ready for severe storms, unexpected floods, and power outages.  In spite of this, when our basement was flooded last December, I found I was poorly prepared and all I could do was concentrate on the small steps toward return to normalcy.

The path through the grey woods has its own pitfalls.  When I go for walks I have to beware of fallen trees…

roots ready to grab an ankle…

branches reaching to poke an eye…

and the risks of not looking around, and missing something special and ephemeral…



soft places in the earth

hollows in the leaf layer

deadfalls to snag the surest ankle

roots that reach for the body

and chasms to claim it


gaps in the greyness of pine

spaces to spill sunlight

admit the riot of leaves

and the keys of the maple


holes in the layer of cloud

snags in the curtain

knots in floorboards

eyes in the blackness of night


flaws in the fabric

seams to part and peer through

paths we have crossed before

in other ways


© Jane Tims 2005

'red mushroom'

Written by jane tims

September 26, 2011 at 8:04 am

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