Hello Dear Poets-
Linda here, and I am coming to you from Mesa, AZ where we are in the midst of summer, and it’s also the monsoon season. It’s that time again for dVerse’s own creation- the Quadrille. For those of you new to dVerse, the quadrille is a 44 word poem exactly, excluding the title. The word today is Bramble or any form thereof, or even one you create containing the word.
“What are the thorns really telling her? It’s why she won’t let us see them, why she clings to them–or they cling to her–as though she got herself buried in a bramble thicket and she can’t get out and we can’t get in to free her.” ― Patricia A. McKillip, Alphabet of Thorn
I love the word bramble; it brings to mind days of old, slower days, easy days, days without a virus raging through humanity.
When I hear the word bramble, I am taken back to my childhood of picking blackberries on hot and humid summer days in Texas. I remember one day in particular when my mom, younger sister and I went berrypicking. We went down by a creek, and the berry bushes were heavy with fruit. I was always the meandering child with her head in the clouds and curious about everything. I wandered to a bush that was full of the luscious fruit.
I started picking berries, and as I took a breath, an awful smell overcame me. “Mom, there is something over here that smells terrible.” Immediately, my mom went into ‘mother’ mode. “Linda, stop right there. Don’t move. Don’t say another word.”
I froze because I was also an obedient child. My mom walked behind me about six feet away, and then said, ‘Slowly back away from that berry bush now. I’m not far behind you. Try not to make any sudden movements or noise baby.”
By now, I was frightened because I knew from my mom’s tone that something was very wrong. I did as she said, and moved away from the berry bush, backing up with tiny steps. At last I felt her arms around me. She pulled me further back, and I turned into her arms. I began to cry but I had no idea why.
When I was calm, my mother kneeled down and looked me in the eye. “Do you remember that smell?”
“Yes, mama, I do.” She let out a deep sigh of relief. “Good, don’t ever forget it. What you just smelled was a water moccasin, a very poisonous snake.”
My mom is, and always will be, my hero.
Here’s an interesting fact about water moccasins, or cottonmouths: Cottonmouths use a gland to spray a foul-smelling musk up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) away to warn potential predators. Source: Just fun facts
Although this was a frightening experience, it is one I have never forgotten.
Now, on to some ‘Brambling’ poetry!
Here is a wonderful poem by Emily Dickinson using the word bramble.
By Emily Dickinson
Through lane it lay — through bramble —
Through clearing and through wood —
Banditti often passed us
Upon the lonely road.
The wolf came peering curious —
The owl looked puzzled down —
The serpent’s satin figure
Glid stealthily along —
The tempests touched our garments —
The lightning’s poinards gleamed —
Fierce from the Crag above us
The hungry Vulture screamed —
The satyr’s fingers beckoned —
The valley murmured “Come” —
These were the mates —
This was the road
Those children fluttered home.
And another lovely piece:
A Bird Song
Christina Rossetti – 1830-1894
It’s a year almost that I have not seen her:
Oh, last summer green things were greener,
Brambles fewer, the blue sky bluer.
It’s surely summer, for there’s a swallow:
Come one swallow, his mate will follow,
The bird race quicken and wheel and thicken.
Oh happy swallow whose mate will follow
O’er height, o’er hollow! I’d be a swallow,
To build this weather one nest together.
Here’s how to join in:
- Write a quadrille as described above. Post it on your blog or website.
- Enter your name and direct link to your poem in Mr. Linky.
- Follow the links to other poets. Read and comment. Come back to read more as the prompt is open all week.
- Link back to dVerse so others can find us too.
- Drop in to say hello in our discussion below.
- Have fun!