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Posts Tagged ‘NC Folklore’

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The Devil’s Tramping Ground

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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

mountains.

.

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,

dissolves.

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.

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