The honeysuckle stem coils clockwise
in the thicket where its gold trumpets,
flared to five lobes,
have fruited to green cups
of translucent orange berries.
A deadly nightshade stalk
of red and black belladonna
climbs a linear branch of hawthorn red,
overshadowed by hornbeam
and umbrellas of rowan—
all with rouged berries.
Blanche speckled by snowberries white
contrasted with ivy’s black spray.
Splashed red by the hips of the wild rose
and red elderberry’s scarlet display.
The hedge is tied with a final
remnant of morning glory
winding its counterclockwise way
through all the Fall colours.
Its direction determined by
the plants’ genes and pull of gravity.
In this pretty Autumn tangle
there is a twisted vine
vicious with thorns
that will attack and scratch you
with prickles on stalk and leaves,
to prevent you taking the blackberries.
But who can resist that bramble aroma
sunstreaked and wet with recent rain?
A woody warmth and fruity smell
tempts hands into the thorny bush
to taste the ripe fruits,
and lick the purple juice
from scratched fingers.
The attraction of Rubus fruticosus
isn’t hard to explain.
One taste of those black drupes
reminds you of the sweetest season—
and you lacerate fingers again.