"Kudzu" and "Retreat"


Miles of trees and bushes along Pilani

Highway in Maui are smothered

with Kudzu until the landscape

has completely changed and lost


its diversity, each leaf similar,

the size and shape of bushes

crushed beneath its tentacles,

the way slogans have become magnets


for our emotions, bringing together

the fear, insecurity, and anger

that pervades us, strangling

the landscape of our daily lives,


facts that could reveal the diversity

of our voices, and uncover the hidden

machinations beneath the never

ending slogans that bombard us.




Entering a forest

is a retreat from the loud

voices that create division


with their endless carping.

Here time is a continual

becoming that enfolds us


and draws us in, a quiet filled

with silent music, the wind

t hat  becomes a chorus


of branches bending towards

each other, tender shoots

growing out of dead tree trunks.


Here, death has a different

meaning for it is an important

part of the creation, showing us


how the forest is a holy book

that calls  out to our souls,

the depths of our being.



Besides writing books, Marguerite Guzman Bouvard has spent her life volunteering on behalf of social justice. She has been writing to a black prisoner in Lincoln Nebraska, helping him with his poetry, and has published a chapbook of his work called Soul Songs. We need to know that our prisons are filled with mostly black and Latino prisoners, many of whom made only minor offenses. Her new poetry book is Shades of Meaning and she is working on a non-fiction book, Climate Visionaries Around the World. She will have a new poetry book coming out in 2023. Marguerite supports the Mississippi Center for Justice.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 22:26