the empire of the cucumber vine

now
shoulder-high
(was a
millimetre
sprout) 

on its way
strangled
neighbours
climbed their ruin
monopolised
bribed
pollinators
and cultivator:
fruit is secondary 
to ambition.

tender leaves
are 
‘let go’
tho 
their shrouds 
still
shade fruit. 
the vine
evolves.  
over the lawn 
the horizons
come.  


Image: Cucumber field, Java, Indonesia, Ikhlasal Amal c/- Flickr. A quadrille – a 44 word poem – for Dverse where Lisa is hosting and asks us to use ‘way’ in our poem.

“Sometimes from this hillside just after sunset 
The rim of the sky takes on a tinge 
Of the palest green, like the flesh of a cucumber 
When you peel it carefully.”
Robert Hass, from Poem with a Cucumber in it, Time and Materials, 2007.

And because I’m thinking green as I’m munching cucumbers, here’s Brian Eno with his album Another Green World from 1975 (yes, really). He probably had an ambitious cucumber vine too.

22 thoughts on “the empire of the cucumber vine

  1. Fresh grown cucumbers sound so yummy right now. (wrote down lebanese variety) I can’t imagine how fragrant it would be to walk through that image but I probably wouldn’t make it out alive! I’ve known a few people where “fruit is secondary to ambition.” The Brian Eno album is really good. I bet you like Vangelis don’t you.

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  2. Cucumbers are delicious and cool, especially in the summer, although I eat them all year round. I love the cucumber shape of this poem, Peter, and the way it grew from millimetre sprout to shoulder-high and took over the neighbourhood.

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  3. Love the title….and anyone who’s gardened and planted cucumbers, or zuchinni, or pumpkins KNOWS how they sprawl and take over more and more territory! GREAT title for it!

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  4. I’ve never had much luck with cucumbers, other than African horned cucumbers which have prickly vines and big, scary, spiky fruit – they took over the greenhouse a couple of years ago. It was like being in a sci-fi movie set.

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