Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Common Fence


Some kind of poison, like a wounding word
has found the vines on the common fence.

My neighbor, fond of bottles,
goes around spraying when he's sober enough--
whole years go by when he's not.

I love the vines, the green view, their wild blind reaching.
They have more faith than a cleric,
more will than any new arrival with a nickel.

The vines are sick and brown on the neighbor's side,
thick and green on mine, and yet,
at the tips of the sick stems healthy tendrils have appeared.

Each morning I go out with my dog to check the vines.
I move slowly. Sleep is an old love whose face is a memory.
The seasons come and go, one dog is followed by a new one.

I worry for the vines, though they seem to be immortal.
The neighbor is the third there's been on that side.
My dog is the seventh of seven and may be a charmed soul.

I can't remember when the vines first appeared, or how the sun
got so high. Ten years go by in an afternoon.
I'm tired and call my dog to go inside. He follows me instantly,

with no thought for the vines, and no doubt at all
that he should follow me. I could cry for loving him so.


  1. Sigh....this gave me goosebumps to read my friend! I love the idea of the vines being wild with blind reaching and faith. This whole poem feels like seeing the passing years before us all at once with all that truly matters and what does not. I don't know how you do it; move us with poetry, but I am glad you do! Love this so much Shay!

  2. What's your neighbor's beef with the vines, Shay? Vines are pretty!

    -David [ben Alexander]

    1. That's my feeling, David, but my neighbor is an odd duck. Last year he let three foot weeds stay on his side all summer. This year he's all about killing the vines.

  3. This hit right in the heart. We're still seeing crepe myrtle shoots from the trees our neighbors hacked out (and digging up some of them and hoping they'll survive).

  4. If I was your neighbour, mine would be joyfully entwined with yours!

  5. I felt like I was living this poem - checking the vines, admiring the tenacity of green growth trying to survive the spraying, and especially the dog by your side, "seventh of seven". I love "Sleep is an old love...."

  6. This poem grows inexorably, like a vine that wraps around not just a fence - but us, the world. "How did the sun get so high?" is a question we might only know from green veins that flow with time and faith and questioning faith. A poem of "wild blind reaching" where life perseveres with our poisoned blood for sustenance, and with love rooted deeper and deeper by the year.

  7. Beautiful expression of growing old, love, loyalty, contrast, faith, and survival. Much depth and tender melancholy. Loved it Shay.

  8. We all have to deal with common fences. Nice depiction of ongoing interaction between distinctive personalities

  9. "Each morning I go out with my dog to check the vines.
    I move slowly. Sleep is an old love whose face is a memory.
    The seasons come and go, one dog is followed by a new one."

    I feel, and relate to the wistfulness of this, Shay.

  10. oh, this is good. boiling with soul, and anchored. you have great range shay, a keen eye, anything you want to write, you just write. sorry i've missed so much, and so glad you're still layin'm down


Spirit, what do you wish to tell us?