Ties that Bind

I wrote the following poem a couple of years ago in response to a conversation I was having with an old friend about family ties and how different members of the generations in our respective families view how we feel about family duty.

Ties that bind
What are the ties that bind us?
Perhaps for some, like Marley’s chains,
They are forged link by link
Of heavy frozen steel
To weigh down butterfly wings
And hearts that would be away,
As sure as nail through foot
Would anchor us to earth.
The ties that bind should rather be
Ribbony tassles tied to the rag-tree,
Love-knots given as fairings
To a beloved who will treasure
Each and every bright strand
Long after the satin strips
Have all faded and frayed.


4 thoughts on “Ties that Bind

  1. Beautiful poem Viv, I loved these two lines,
    “Love-knots given as fairings
    To a beloved who will treasure”
    I often think about what it is that ties us and how those ties can be deceiving; some look so strong yet they break at the firs impact and some look so fragile but will hold on no matter what…

    • While it seems fragile human hair is unbelievably strong, stronger than any wire of the same thickness. I often pull out a strand of hair to tie to a clouty tree because I will not have brought cloth to offer as a prayer. You may have come across these trees, usually in sacred places like springs; a tie of cloth is tied as a prayer to the twigs and as it slowly decays the wish or prayer comes to life.
      Some family ties prove weak when put under pressure- but others are stronger than death itself.
      thanks Lua!

  2. The ties should be long enough for those who want to soar to the heavens, and retractable for those who want to find a little heaven much closer to home.

    michael j

    • This reminds me of the silver thread mentioned in the book of Ecclesiastes, which many equate to the lifeline that anchors the body and the soul together during life and which acts like the astronaut’s lifeline if we leave our bodies (either at will or involuntarily during OOBE). This too is seen as endlessly elastic and strong.
      Thanks, Michael, for reminding me of this!

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