Posts Tagged ‘NC Folklore’


The Devil’s Tramping Ground


The devil walks

in a circle

hoof footed

in the thick black

Carolina woods.


Around, around

sizzle pop ground.

Nothing will grow

where he treads.


Not one weed.

Leaves won’t

fall in his wake.


Dare to put

a penny in

his circle;

it disappears

by morning.


He snorts,

leans forward

head down

hands clasped

behind his back


thinking of

new ways

to burn me.


Maybe I will

never find a job

or pay the rent.


My car might

not start again

and if it does

surely I will

lose control

down slick



At his beck and call,

furry things crawl

down my dark hall.

A man with an axe

breathes by my bed.


Some silent something

swells in my cells.

Somewhere a finger

hovers above

the button.


Damn this devil

who stomps

round and round


leaves a zero

in my gray space,

poems unwritten

work undone.


He laughs

when the sun

comes up and

it all swirls,

turns to smoke,


Julie Buffaloe-Yoder


The Devil’s Tramping Ground is a real place that’s only about an hour-and-a half drive from where I live now.  Supposedly, there is a circle in the woods where nothing will grow, not even weeds..

My grandfather was a master storyteller, and I heard many stories about the Trampin’ Ground from him..

He made up his own versions, including one of my particular favorites that involved a wrestling match with the devil..

I’m not saying there’s anything “to it” or not, because I don’t know.  I just love the stories..They’re part of the language and rich cultural heritage of North Carolina.

According to Wikipedia, the Southern Supreme Fruitcake Factory is located near the Devil’s Tramping Ground.  I almost busted a gut over that one.  Dang, I love my state.  There are poems everywhere you turn.


Read Full Post »