A Few New: West Power Line Corridor; When It All Turns

Here are a couple of new poems from recent days.

This year I am participating in the Reforesters program at the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, a preserve near where I live. The purpose of this program is to reclaim and reforest lands that were originally forest but after a century or so of being farmland and then neglected are full of elderly trees and invasive species. Over time areas are being replanted with trees, but they need caring for until they are larger to keep them from being overwhelmed by vines and fast-growing bushes that smother them, and the deer who eat them or rub against them and injure them.

I (with my husband) have been assigned an area in which we will care for the tiny trees as well as clear land for the future planting of more trees. Currently our section, called the West Power Line Corridor, is a tangle of wild roses, brambles, spicebush, and privet hedge, quite dense, with a few large tall trees. It’s gotten into this state because the tree canopy, mostly ash, has been killed off by the emerald ash borer, which is destroying pretty much the entire population of ash trees in Pennsylvania. The invasives thrive in the sunlight in the areas now exposed by the loss of the bigger trees’ shade and drive away the wildlife and plants that formerly grew.

The idea is that we will clear land and get it ready for new trees. It is a big area and will take a lot of time. I am looking forward to it. I am also grateful for the opportunity to give back to a place where I have hiked or run or walked for the past 15 years or so.

But right now, well, our section is best described as kind of scruffy. This shadorma chain tells you how I feel about things right now as we start out.

West Power Line Corridor

Well, Scruffy,
it’s you versus me
you skinny
leg of land
running downhill
wired up with switchy whips of
wild rosebushes and

big red-stemmed
octopi with the
fuzz prickles
bush whose name
I can’t remember but yes
I know to avoid

ow that hurts
But, Scruffy, hear this:
I’ve put my
gloves on. It’s
Pruners up! and make some room –
Trees are coming home.

shadorma chain

This poem came about when my husband remarked a week or so ago that a forty-degree day seemed warm! And I reflected on why this was so.

When It All Turns

When you step outside
and seven degrees above freezing
is suddenly a warm morning
leading you to decide to forget
that you really do need your gloves

when the half-melted snowbank
looks diminished and on the run
rather than dangerous and
threatening more of the same

it’s all because a lone daffodil – the first one –
blooms in the sunny spot
at the roots of the tree


6 thoughts on “A Few New: West Power Line Corridor; When It All Turns

  1. What a great project, Claudia. I haven’t walked there, but maybe some day.
    My husband and I have said the same thing about 40 degree days when it’s sunny and there’s no wind–it feels warm after the winter, even though we’d be complaining about the cold if it was in October.

    • I am hoping the tree caring project will not overwhelm me, but really, that is up to me, I do not have to singlehandedly renovate the forest, I keep reminding myself. When I get it in that perspective I think it will be very calming to me. I like ordering and cleaning, this is the landscape version! Anf the little trees can grow.

    • Yes, I plan to, I meant to take photos when we were there, but we were invovled in the meeting and I did not want to interrupt. I am thinking we will be there this weekend to scope out our plans and I will certainly get the before version of photos started. It will change quickly, with all the plants starting to get green now.

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