Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wild Peavines

Wild Peavines
by Robert Morgan
I have never understood how
the mountains when first seen by hunters
and traders and settlers were covered
with peavines. How could every cove
and clearing, old field, every
opening in the woods and even
understories of deep woods
be laced with vines and blossoms in
June? They say the flowers were so thick
the fumes were smothering. They tell
of shining fogs of bees above
the sprawling mess and every bush
and sapling tangled with tender
curls and tresses. I don't see how
it was possible for wild peas
to take the woods in shade and deep
hollows and spread over cliffs in
hanging gardens and choke out other
flowers. It's hard to believe the creek
banks and high ledges were that bright.
But hardest of all is to see
how such profusion, such overwhelming
lushness and lavish could vanish,
so completely disappear that
you must look through several valleys
to find a sprig or strand of wild
peavine curling on a weedstalk
like some word from a lost language
once flourishing on every tongue.


  1. Now that is a truly sad poem. And true of so many species, plants, birds, animal.

  2. And as it disappeared, it took so much fertility of the soil with it, for the pea vines roots are nitrogen fixing....


  3. Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, yes so true of so many species and so much history, culture, habits and humaness, even some kindness too.

    Hi Christine, thanks, so true I had forgotten that fact. I came across this poem quite by accident and it is my first introduction to Robert Morgan and now I find myself searching for more of his writings.

  4. Curiouser and curiouser. Did the peavines self destruct by robbing the soil of nutrients. I wouldn't miss kudzu and morning glory vines if they went the same way. Wild grape, too.

  5. I haven't heard of wild pea vines; they sound wonderful.

  6. That sounds like our wild cucumber vines. They can totally engulf whole trees when the conditions are right. Thank goodness the right conditions don't always exist or we'd be buried in a tangled, sticky jungle!

  7. Beautiful picture but so sad that they all almost disapear.


  8. It is amazing how little I know about the South. The house and the vines are on the same journey. I like the poem and will see what other poems he has written.

  9. Hi Joanne, thanks, the peavines fix nitrogen into the soil. Yeah there are quite a few I wouldn't miss either, like bermuda grass.

    Hi Smartcat, thanks, I think they are the ones with the pink flowers I've seen them occasionally in various locations in various states.

    Hi Elna, thanks, yes sad about some things disappearing.

    Hi Dee, thanks, there is much to learn about history of many areas of our country and others that for sure. I enjoyed his take on the loss of the vine and the idea of the loss of other things some how forgotten.

  10. If I have to be smothered by something, let it be flowers.

  11. Hi Mary, thanks, oh you are so right, what a great line, love it

    if I have to be smothered by something, let it be flowers.



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