Minor Interruptions

Minor Interruptions

What are stone walls to the intent of a slope?
Water will reach the bottom just as intently.

Vines will love them more than a bare hillside, as much
as they do the trees they choke in their race to the sky.

Yet they will dislodge the stones with their effort.
And that water. If it happens to be slowed, its seepage

leaves no question as to its opinion of the wall.
Will the dirt that washes through be any cleaner than that

beneath your feet, that you wash from your shoes?
Restore the wall if you must, but that soil will

reach the bottom, like the water that carries it there.
Stone walls mean nothing to the intent of a slope.

Like a slice of pie, the lot on which my house sits (on a cul de sac) is wedge shaped, with the “point” fifty feet lower than the crust side (maintaining that pie analogy). My backyard is one continuous 250 ft. slope broken up by stone walls to ease the transition. Even so, it’s a stiff climb uphill. The lower area is heavy with 25 years of brush and honeysuckle. It’s pretty clear that neither of the previous owners maintained it. I’ve discovered walls I didn’t know to exist, including one (above) that formed a well around a vine encrusted oak. Un-raked leaves made it appear to be a continuation of the slope, and the well itself was two feet of composted leaves. And the wall is collapsing.

Some of the vines I removed

32 thoughts on “Minor Interruptions

  1. Landscaping is a continuous chore … nothing so “permanent” as change. The challenge is to keep ahead of Nature’s curve. Or, on your lot, slope! I enjoy looking at old photos from the first few years I lived on this property, seeing all the landscape timbers forming neat planter areas … now all rotted and gone, totally different plants growing throughout. As though my yard were a canvas that I keep painting over with new scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That looks like a lot of work. The poem, however, is deceptive. It seems to flow as easy as the landscape, and yet, I smell work. Thought. Deliberate Ion. Some hard work is hiding in plain sight. Like that hidden well, maybe, buried only in leaves from time and seasons turning by.

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  3. Although our garden is quite flat, it is similar in some ways to your backyard, with the brush, honeysuckle and vine. Ours is waterlogged which makes me wish for a bit of a slope! You have your work cut out but I bet you’ll enjoy all the discoveries and the final result. The final line is a killer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kim. Heavy rains are common here, and with that slope they often wash out grass that I replant every year. Some spots can be very slippery/muddy footing up to a week after a rain, and the lawn just above a wall will be spongy, as well. Meanwhile, there’s a wildflower garden bordered by stone near the top of the hill that I need to water, because, of course, water runs downhill! It’s a constant challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ken, your poem has a wonderful fluency and richness. How right you are
    about the water … be it a brook or river … it will reach its destination.
    I quite love seeing water flow over stones though as it brings out so many
    Hope your house is safe.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the circular flow of the meditation in the words. We can interrupt its path, but nature will have its way in the end.
    I have a lot of trouble with hills the past few years. Just take it slow. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like how your poem flowed and its descriptive lines as well.

    The work seems daunting but I think it’s exciting too to imagine the many possibilities you can transform the area. That compost heap that you mentioned can be a good beginning for some new flowering plants like roses. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it might be interesting to walk the land, breathe in the air and let it speak. I believe everything has energy. Retaining walls were built to prevent landslides. It sounds like you have much work to do but, I am confident it will be rewarding.

    Best of luck with your landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

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