Back in the early 1970s, we began clearing the land and planting grape vines in preparation for what was to become the Boskydel Vineyards and Winery. One weekend during our initial plantings, we had the assistance of one of the English professors from Northwestern Michigan College, Joe Dionne, who later wrote a poem about his experience. Here is that poem. Enjoy!
Planting a Vineyard
The rootstocks take eight years
from cane to wine. The earth
disavows this measurement. The
glacier, in a rocky ghost, marks
nothing in the fat rods of these fields.
The land travels inside our head,
spinning on failures, furling on the
misspent, overgrowing the mystery
and measure of a daughter.
Eighteen inches into Michigan, eight
feet apart. The furrows parallel the
lake and the dreams of moving things:
there is the reach of two dead men
This soil unlearns the polished bone.
This sandy ground heaves over in rolling
scars. There are ghosts in these wounds:
Chippewa knelling in the sumac, the fox
bending the moon into a slow, tight, fire.
In the wine there is the dry salt of
captive things, the bleached odor of
shale stitched with fossils, the rib
cage of the melodious lake.
Late at night, drunk, riding the tip
of the mind to sleep, my blood is a
swollen pool, a hallway into prison,
an inheritance of all blood dispossessed.