September 22

Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)


The day autumn descends

On the northern hemisphere I wander

My favorite trail noticing the autumn colors just emerging.

Native wildflowers abuzz with bees and bugs and birds. Equally beautiful

Are the strangers to this forest, this meadow, this trail.


They’re beautiful but they’re destructive


These plants distract wildlife from the sustaining meal.

They colonize our woodlands.

Dominating our disturbed soils left after progress

Moved through. They’re controlled in their homelands

By soil fungus, airborne disease or leaf eating insects

But here along this trail as far as the eye can see they are unchecked.

To that eye untrained they are part of this splendid autumn landscape.


They are destructive but they are beautiful.


Cannot stop global trade introducing

These plants to our nature. Cannot

Eradicate the unwelcome guests like so many ants

To a spring kitchen. Cannot stop the birds with a new found taste

From feeding and dropping exotic seeds.

Cannot just breathe and take in the beauty?


They’re beautiful, but they’re destructive.


(A Bop Poem)

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