Thursday, December 14, 2017

Grow on me like moss

Learning to see mosses is more like listening than looking. A cursory glance will not do it. Starting to hear a faraway voice or catch a nuance in the quiet subtext of a conversation requires attentiveness, a filtering of all the noise, to catch the music. Mosses are not elevator music; they are the intertwined threads of a Beethoven quartet.
~Robin Wall Kimmerer

Moss by Matthew Rogers

My buddy Joyce sent me a completely delightful package for the Winter Poem Swap, complete with adorable wee animals for my mini garden, a journal, chocolate, and this wonderful poem:

Ode to Moss
by Joyce Ray

Woodlands hold trees and flowers,
critters and mythical folk,
play-fullness, seeds of promise and

who carpet Zen gardens,
Scottish moors and even
a childhood storybook where
Belinda searched for a friend.

We say, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,”
yet you, Sphagnum, staunched the bleeding
of WWI soldiers, lined the cradles
of indigenous babies, and

you, Peat, are the reason we have
bog bodies and Scotch.
Better yet,
you sequester carbon while

Africans say, “The people who love me
grow on me like moss,”
like soothing balm to ease the hurt
from rolling through troubled times, so

let me create a garden of still
stones whose only purpose is to grow
moss, and you will invite me in
to gather what I need.


Random Noodling has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Diane!


BJ Lee said...

Love your *mossy* post, Tabatha. The last stanza of the poem says it all!

Mitchell Linda said...

"let me create a garden of still stones" perfectly lovely. Well done, and hooray for gifts of poetry.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful! My heart thrilled to read this poem.

Donna Smith said...

I loved the quote first, and then the poem. So rich! Snickered at "You, Peat..."! Just perfect!

Irene Latham said...

Wow, Joyce did a great job with this mossy celebration! Moss IS calming, isn't it? I love that picture, too. Makes me think of THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES. So much gentle mystery in the world nurturing us as we walk across our years.... xo

Diane Mayr said...

Joyce wrote a beauty of a poem, didn't she. A mossy woods always feels welcoming, like a soft green couch.

Linda B said...

Wow, an ode to moss gathers beauty in so many ways. How lovely to read this, Joyce and Tabatha.

jama said...

Love Joyce's poem -- I have new appreciation for moss now :).

Joyce Ray said...

Tabatha, I'm honored to see my poem gift for you shared here. Thank you for calling forth these words by sharing your wee garden project with me. I love the Winter Poem Swap and other challenges/invitations posed by this community. It's always amazing to me to see what our hearts and minds produce with just a snippet of suggested theme, news or information.

Doraine Bennett said...

A beautiful poem. Just reading makes me feel invited in to gather what I need.

Brenda Harsham said...

That is a gorgeous poem. It lifted my heart. Grew a little springy green in the cracked parts.

Kay said...

I love this poem! I will be looking for moss--and appreciating it even more--on my next hike.

Christie Wyman said...

I have a moss obsession, so I am enamored with this! A treasure.

Michelle Kogan said...

I love this organic growing post Tabatha! Moss is a favorite of mine. There's a garden room in the Lincoln Park conservatory where I've sketched that has mostly moss in it, all different kinds–it's wonderful!
Joyce's poem is a gift that moves in so many directions and then come back home again. And Robin Wall Kimmerer last line is lovely. Thanks for sharing all with us.

Molly Hogan said...

What a gift! This poem is a "soothing balm".

Buffy Silverman said...

Terrific poem--so many mossy things to love!

Mary Lee said...

Thank you, Joyce, for slowing us down so we can appreciate moss!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I learned so much from Joyce's poem and from your quote,Tabatha. Moss is an apt symbol for the kind of quiet, constant power we might all aspire to in these times.

Tara Smith said...

I love that fifth stanza, Tabatha - I shall always remember this poem when I encounter moss next.

Violet Nesdoly said...

I love this poem and all the mossy photo and sayings. I am very familiar with moss--its annoyances (turning everything greenish in our wet climate) so it's good to be reminded of moss's benefits. (And it sounds like the winter poem swap was another wonderful success!) Happy Hanukkah - it's past, I know - and all the joys of the season to you and yours, Tabatha!

Ruth said...

So good. Elizabeth Gilbert's book The Signature of All Things is about a scientist who studies moss.

Brenda Harsham said...

Wonderful mossy musings. I love the intersection of science and wordsmithing, where my heart dwells.