Poison Ivy

I was in hospital for several weeks while I was six due to a horrible poison ivy infection.  The first thing I did when we bought our house was to search out all of the poison ivy on the place and use a special weed killer to end it.  For Kim’s prompt on dVerse, Sylvia and Ted. Writing about useless things that grow.  Tersets. I guess.  Write in the format of Sylvia Plath or Ted Huges.

 


Poison Ivy

“Inside leaflets like mittens will itch like the dickens. Leaves of three, let it be.” Old Time Thymes about poison ivy.

poison ivy is sneaky
lying in wait for
the unaware

horrible itchy rash –
covering your body
from head to toenails


Poison Ivy

46 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Glenn A. Buttkus
    Nov 26, 2019 @ 17:32:21

    Nice take on the Plath style. We have poison oak and nettles but not the ivy here on the coast of WA state.

    Reply

  2. Rob Kistner
    Nov 26, 2019 @ 19:07:35

    Not nice stuff Toni, but a great song by the Coasters!

    Reply

  3. msjadeli
    Nov 26, 2019 @ 19:25:40

    What kills it, Toni, do you remember? I have some creeping up my house and the outside of the carport 😦

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 26, 2019 @ 20:40:43

      Pouring full strength bleach on it and the ground around it. Al the Farmer’s Almanac recommends a weed killer of 1 cup salt dissolved with 1 cup apple cider vinegar boiled and cooled. I also borrowed a goat of a friend of mine fir a couple of days. FA recommends digging up the plants and disposing of it in a plastic bag. Of course you have to wear protective clothing, strip off and thoroughly wash the clothing. On trees you can burn it off but that is very tricky. I recommend the salt and vinegar and also planting grass in the area. It is almost impossible to get rid of. Round up or similar herbicides are good. I wore a tyvek blond spatter suit while drenching it with the salt/vinegar mix. That weakened it enuff the round up obliterated it, after having the goat chomping on, then spraying it with round up. If you have an Ace hardware near you ask them or your local agriculture extension. Different areas have different methodologies. Good luck. It is almost impossible to get rid of. It took me a year in the woods on our property. A couple of months on our house lawn and trees

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  4. Jane Dougherty
    Nov 27, 2019 @ 04:43:43

    This sounds like a nightmare plant. So many of you have written about it!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 27, 2019 @ 06:31:27

      It really is. One doesn’t even need to touch it, you only need to be standing within a few feet of it. Animals can eat it though with impunity, which is why I borrowed a friend’s goat and parked it in various places on our land. It went home a happy and clean goat. I thoroughly washed it so my friend wouldn’t get poison ivy from where the goat h as d touched the poison ivy.

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      • Jane Dougherty
        Nov 27, 2019 @ 10:38:58

        There’s not much goats can’t handle, that’s true!

        Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Nov 27, 2019 @ 11:14:54

          It got rid of all manner of weeds, small bushes, and various other growth. It’s belly was all pooched out and its udders full of milk. My friend thanked me and took his goat home. I am going to borrow it again in the spring. The Travelling Goat, lol.

          Reply

          • Jane Dougherty
            Nov 27, 2019 @ 11:24:19

            I have thought about getting some pigs to deal with the brambles, but they grow so big…

            Reply

            • kanzensakura
              Nov 27, 2019 @ 11:27:47

              Are there any small breed European pigs you could get? I know very little about them over in Europe. A friend borrowed the Travelling Goat and another one and they obliterated his brambles. There are smaller breeds of pigs over here. The brambles did not grow back. He did the goating while the brambles had blackberries growing on them and the goats went crazy. He also used the goats to clear out a section of woodland.

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              • Jane Dougherty
                Nov 27, 2019 @ 11:40:43

                I read that goats could be picky and won’t eat brambles if there’s something easier. And the females need milking I imagine.
                The small pigs are the Vietnamese pigs that I’m not keen on. They’re (obviously) not indigenous and they’re not hardy. I had my eye on some Noir de Gascogne pigs, which are completely hardy, live outdoors all year round and forage. They’re counted as medium sized pigs. They eat anything too, but they live a long time. Not sure I want to take that on. And no, I’d never have them butchered though I know someone who does. When the garden work’s done, she sends them to the abattoir. Friendly.

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                • kanzensakura
                  Nov 27, 2019 @ 11:48:54

                  Then a native pig it is. If you don’t want it butchered or to butcher it, could you sell the pig? I don’t much about foraging pigs except over here, the breeds tend to go feral. Ugh. most pigs over here are raised to butcher. American goats must be different. They eat any and everything. a medium pig is what, 200 pounds? The same friend with the Travelling Goat bought pigs to clear his land, fell in love with them and refuse to have them butchered (3 of them). They are pretty rowdy. Keep out intruders. He and I both have our land posted for no hunters or hunting. Oddly, the hunters respect the no hunting signs. I killed the engine of a hunter’s truck with a crossbow quarrel several years go. So that could be the reason for their respect.

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                  • Jane Dougherty
                    Nov 27, 2019 @ 12:08:51

                    A ‘medium’ pig is pretty hefty. The Gascon weighs approx. 660 pounds adult weight! Nobody keeps pet pigs here either except the mini pigs as an attraction for kids on farms that take visitors. I like the idea but I’d be uneasy trying to control three critters that size even if they are meant to be easy going and friendly.
                    Good for you having a go at the hunters. They stay out of our place now but they are in all the fields and woods round about. Barbarians.

                    Reply

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 12:32:38

                      I go about our land on horseback. One day I heard rifles and Big Slim and I took off in that direction. I keep a crossbow on his saddle. There was a man in a truck on MY land shooting at some deer. I blew the air horn I keep in my pocket and the deer scattered. He got mad and dared aim his rifle at me thinking I would back down. Wrong. I told him the land was posted and he needed to leave immediately. We started at each other and then I pulled off my cocked crossbow. He cocked his rifle and I pulled the trigger on my bow. Right through the hood of his truck and into his engine. I pulled out another quarrel and cocked it again and aimed it at him. I guess he realized this under 5 ft. Woman was going to out it through him. He also realized fluids were leaking from the engine. He retreated. I have had no problems since and that was 10 years ago. Nothing like a 4’11” barjitsuan to face down a hunter.

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                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 12:47:56

                      Wow! Sounds like the wild west! Our plot is only five acres or so and it isn’t fenced all the way around so the hunters, and especially their dogs can get in easily through the hedges and under the wire. We did have problems to begin with, hunters coming in and shooting as if they owned the place. We don’t have any weapons, but husband has jumped out of a ground floor window to confront them and I have gone out with a stick after their dogs and one guy with a rifle. It’s not wide open countryside here, scattered houses and lots of fields and bits of woodland so shooting is dangerous in my opnion. People do occasionally walk around. They don’t want trouble, so they keep away now.

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 13:00:05

                      Good for you and your stick. I actually do la canne stick fighting and Irish faction stick fighting and I fence. I don’t have a lot of body strength but I am hell with a sword and a sword cane. I am also pretty good with a rifle and a crossbow. But I prefer sword. The hunters have learned I will call the cops for them trespassing and will take out my crossbow, throw it down and pull my katana. They keep out. I have posted, no hunting signs all around the perimeter of the land and for the most part, they are respectful now. It isn’t the Wild West. I just protect that land fiercely. I refuse to sell it and have legal eagles on it so that if a housing subdivision tries to go up around it on one side, there is a required 200d ft. buffer that has to be factored in. Kids play in it which I don’t mind. I have met the kids on occasion and they know no fires, no cutting of the trees, etc. I have pulled my sword and let them handle it and showed them a few moves of la canne. They are impressed. LOL. Good kids, better than their parents.

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                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:14:22

                      In another life I would have liked to have done that kind of thing. Like you I’m small and light and have a good eye and quick reflexes. I’d like nothing better than to be able to stick a crossbow quarrel in some of the middle aged slobs who massacre the wildlife round here.
                      Get the kids on board. They’ll outlive their parents and teach their own kids something better maybe.

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:21:35

                      Smiles….I have been slowly and subtly putting in my two cents worth regarding life, nature, and the holiness thereof. ??

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                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:28:37

                      If they listen to you (and why wouldn’t they?) your words will have an impact. Teachers claim they are able to ‘form’ children. It’s just a question of trust.

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:36:42

                      Exactly. Sometimes when I am up in “my” tree reading, dreaming, or playing my violin, I can hear them walking through, playing…they are intrigued I think. They read books I have suggested. They will now climb the trees being careful of the limbs, respectful of the trees’ bodies. Sometimes they run through like hooligans pretending to be Indians or Robin Hood or unknown Tribes. They are fun to watch. Not when it is cold or rainy but in the warm summer. They know they are welcome as long as they are respectful of the woods and the critters therein.

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                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:42:44

                      That’s how it should be. You can’t teach them to be respectful of what they are banned from having any contact with. That amounts to telling the poor to respect the fruits of labour and never letting them have any. You’re building a legacy of wisdom to leave behind.

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:45:38

                      Thank you. I hope so. I don’t have children nor ever wanted any. I think I would make an ok aunt though, but iffy. I wanted to be a teacher of literature years ago.

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                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:03:52

                      You’re doing what adults ought to do—pass on what they know and what they believe is right. You can’t do more. I’m a lousy aunt, have never had any contact with my sisters’ kids, mainly because of geography, but also because I’m not a fan of other people’s kids. I don’t have this ‘my children are amazing’ attitude. They’re the way they are, like everyone else, individuals and not any more amazing than any other intelligent human being. I don’t know my nieces well enough to even know if I like them, but I don’t assume that they are ‘amazing’ just because we’re related.

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:06:38

                      Good for you! I don’t think in reality I would be a good aunt. I have no brothers or sisters and have been happy in childless universe. I just accept these kids as they are. I neither like or dislike them. I just accept them.

                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:16:42

                      It’s the only healthy way to be, I think. The ‘my children right or wrong’ attitude does no one any good.

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:17:30

                      No and it makes me want to smack the child an/or the parent.

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                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:25:47

                      You’d have made a good parent 🙂

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:31:34

                      Thanks, I think! My mama never thought I was amazing because I was her’s. Just because I was a torture of a child.

                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:38:59

                      Headstrong maybe. Strong-minded kids are difficult especially if you’re the kind of parent who believes in explaining every request. I watched my sisters doing the long patient explanation stuff and could never understand it. It should be easy even for a two year old to understand that you don’t take off your shoes and throw them out of the push chair. Yet this too would have to be explained while the culprit would sit there grinning. Mad.

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:40:44

                      My mother rarely explained anything. It was always “because I said so.” And that was enough. She was strong minded too.

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                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 17:12:06

                      Sensible woman 🙂

                    • kanzensakura
                      Nov 27, 2019 @ 17:28:10

                      🙂 Yes she was/ very practical

                    • Jane Dougherty
                      Nov 28, 2019 @ 08:49:08

                      🙂

  5. kim881
    Nov 27, 2019 @ 06:43:00

    I didn’t realise how nasty poison ivy was! From the image, it looks quite pretty and harmless. Nice concise tercets that make the point, Toni.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 27, 2019 @ 06:46:47

      It is a pretty plant with blooms and berries but…it is one of the nastiest plants on earth. I hope you are feeling better! And thank you.

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  6. Beverly Crawford
    Nov 27, 2019 @ 14:31:08

    I see I’m not the only one to feature poison ivy! Some people are more sensitive to it than others, but it is an evil presence nonetheless! Loved your poem.

    Reply

  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:43:52

    I am so happy to live where the worst thing we may have are the nettles

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 27, 2019 @ 15:49:14

      Bjorn this stuff is truly poison. When I was in hospital at 6, there was a kid a few rooms down who died from being infected with the stuff. His father burned some off several trees and the kid inhaled the smoke. Terrible. You don’t even have to touch it – just be within a few feet of it when the wind blows. You are lucky you all don’t have it. I am extremely. Allergic to it.

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  8. Christine Irving
    Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:48:35

    Oh yeah. I am so allergic – awful nasty stuff – grows prolifically wherever we cut the forest. I thin its one of Nature’s attempts to fight back and restore balance.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 27, 2019 @ 16:50:28

      Could be? I have killed all of the poison ivy on our place and woods. Though. Pouf to balance! The woods still grow happily and well in spite of the absence of poison ivy and I walk through them happy.

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  9. areadingwriter
    Nov 28, 2019 @ 05:17:14

    oooops. not something i want to go near to!

    Reply

  10. Vivian Zems
    Nov 28, 2019 @ 17:44:22

    Ouch! I’m actually itching , reading this!😅

    Reply

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