Hedera helix

This entry is part 3 of 20 in the series Highgate Cemetery Poems


Ivy embrace

In this cemetery, the English ivy does all the work of grief, circling, knotting, twisting, persistent as a scavenger. It listens, a crowd of one, hanging on every engraved word. As vines reach the sky, their five-lobed leaves give way to a simpler shape, a sort of teardrop, & the umbels drip nectar. The fact that the berries are poisonous to humans is incidental, I’m sure, & the plant can’t help how invasive it’s become overseas, pulling down natives with no natural defenses against such clinging. Bindwood, they call it here. Lovestone. Grief’s greenest eraser, wearing holes in every last will & testament & scrawling in the breach its own cursive signature.

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5 Replies to “Hedera helix”

  1. Informative and also beautiful. I just love the way you write. You have a visionary’s gift. I always leave Via Negativa better informed on all levels… not least the poetic… than when I came.

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