wild cucumber tendrils twining into oak tree; E side Albany Hill
Wild cucumber vine on coast live oak

Something is reaching
Something is grasping
Oh, sadness
That is my madness
We cannot know what is not corporeal
We spin in circles
Trying to guess
But it is only an outline or a fuzzy shape
The reality may beg to differ
And our conception is shattered
Blown apart
Scattered to the wind
Stomped on
But that kernel of intuition keeps us going
It spawns hope, creativity, happiness, action
Yes, it may be smothered in time
But it will be replaced by another
Because without dreams we are dull, depressed, lifeless

-Margot Cunningham


Margot on Albany Hill

I could go north, that might be fun

Or I could go south into the wind

Perhaps east into the heat

Or maybe west into the fog

All directions seem good

They all interest me

Or I could just sit still and ponder

Let the directions flow by me, through me, over me, under me

The directions will always be there

I will wait until I know which direction I want to go

-Margot Cunningham


Half-empty or half-full?

sun cups blooming near rocks in NE meadowAlbany Hill
sun cups blooming

Sadness is in the sun cup shaded by weeds

the elderberry tree draped in cape ivy

the coast live oak strangled by Algerian ivy

the sagebrush shaded by eucalyptus

the French broom marching over the meadow

the trail overgrown with poison oak and other plants

the numbered days of the mules ears and poppies blooming in a vacant lot

ivy growing up mature oaks
ivy growing up oaks

Happiness is in the sun cup continuing to bloom despite the weeds around it

the elderberry tree growing leaves and flowers despite the cape ivy covering it

the coast live oak standing tall despite the ivy crawling up its trunk

the sagebrush growing and flowering despite being shaded by eucalyptus

the meadow with flowers blooming despite the advancing broom

the trail still passable despite the overgrowth

the mules ears and poppies continuing to bloom in the vacant lot despite their numbered days

-Margot Cunningham

trail through oak woodland
trail through oak woodland near bottom E side Albany Hill

Taking Root

I am of you, for you, with you
You are beside me, beneath me, above me
I can’t move, I can only think
Thoughts move me to a warm place
This place is my home
I am home in this place
I feel my soul touching the ground, taking root
I sprout new shoots from this ground
Nourished by rain and humus
Summer may come and dry up my shoots
But my roots have taken hold in this earth

-Margot Cunningham

soap roots emerging, NE side, Albany Hill
soap root leaves emerging, NE side, Albany Hill

Little Island Hill

albany hilltaken from lower road in sunset cemetery, sf bridge, island
Albany Hill from Sunset View Cemetery

Little island hill of green
Machines all around
Squares and rectangles and triangles arising
Fallen rocks from the ancient sea floor
Ceiling of gray, then blue, now pink
Cages to protect
Destroy nothing that is perfect
Everything is there
Everything is here

-Margot Cunningham

Albany Hill from pedestrian overpass in Richmond

Hidden in the Ivy


 Ivy, ivy everywhere

Green carpet of ivy

Sending vertical vines up oak trunks

And curly roots into the soil

Green carpet of ivy

Hiding trash from decades past

Rusty beverage cans with pull-off tabs

Glass liquor bottles full of dirt

A musty pile of deteriorating carpet

Green carpet of ivy

We curse at you as we rip you out

Who planted this stuff? one person asks

How did so much of this ivy get here? another wants to know

Green carpet of ivy

We peel you back to find native wood ferns, trillium, and California blackberry,

Alive but muffled

We leave, satisfied at another patch cleared of that

Green carpet of ivy

 Margot Cunningham

ivy trees