Skip to content
Menu

Poetry

Most lie low, flourishing with damp,
harvesting sunlight, no commotion, moss
mouse-silent, even through wind and hail,
stoic through motors roaring fumes,
through fat-clawed bears grubbing.

They can soothe the knife-edges of stones
with frothy leaf by leaf of gray-green life,
and burned-ground mosses cover destruction,
charred stumps, trees felled and blackened.
Cosmopolitan mosses likewise salve
sidewalk cracks, crumbling walls.

They root in thin alpine air, on sedentary
sand dunes, cling to cliff seeps beneath
spilling springs. For rest, they make mats
on streamside banks, for pleasure produce silky
tufts, wavy brooms of themselves in woodlands
for beauty, red roof moss for whim, elf
cap, hair cap, sphagnum for nurturing.

No fossil record of note, no bone
history, so lenient they possess only
those memories remembered.

I believe they could comfort the world
with their ministries. That is my hope,
even though this world be a jagged rock,
even though this rock be an icy berg of blue
or a mirage of summer misunderstood
(moss balm for misunderstanding),
even though this world be blind and awry
and adrift, scattering souls like spores
through the deep of a starlit sea.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Related Poetry

a fish leaping upstream from a patch of white glinting gold water running in thick rivulets down a crest.

Fish Ladder, Damariscotta

By

Paul Mariani

Pinckney Street

By

Fred Marchant

Fist

By

Ed Madden

Learning the Crawl

By

Fleda Brown

Welcome to Image. 

We curate content just for you. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter ImageUpdate for free.


Pin It on Pinterest