Resurrection Fern

Resurrection Fern.jpg

Pleopeltis polypodioides (syn. Polypodium polypodioides),
also known as the resurrection fern, is a species of creeping,
coarse-textured fern native to Africa.

They braided seeds into their hair
not for show, but hidden,
not to be discovered,
bringing homeland with them
boarding ships they knew nothing of
crossing oceans never to return to their Africa.

Memories survive long periods
with just a little telling
to resurrect their life
to grow again through word spoken
to those who never knew

They arrived, some with star maps
from desert skies where once their feet
planted onto homeland
never to return, but remembered
through lines and dots, remembered
through scanning the night
for something familiar.

There is a wisdom,
a knowing in action
a way to preserve that which
would be lost, an honoring
for those to come connecting
those to the past.

I reach back to learn from where
my ancestors came, their
customs, their stories,
ritual, a part of my DNA
not realized

I know of
violas and sweet alyssum
bees tended and golden nectar
caravan travel spreading words to heal
salt thrown over a shoulder

My mother heard voices, saw ghosts
they said she was crazy
she didn’t know her homeland
she didn’t know her stories

I wish I could ask her now
I wish I could resurrect her
from the box
inside the marbled floor mausoleum
and our homeland

The resurrection fern gets its name because it can survive long
periods of drought…However, when just a little water is present,
the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to “resurrect.”

 

Author’s Note:

This is my poem from Hour #7 which was to listen to a song and write from it. Resurrection Fern by Iron and Wine.

I am honored that this poem was selected to appear in the 2019 Poetry Marathon Journal to be published later this year.

Bell Jar Tomatoes

Each tomato nestled insideBell Jar.jpg
one of seven bell jars
soldiered neatly atop our garden wall.

“It’s an experiment,” she whispered,
clad in raincoat and boots,
umbrella ready at hand.

“What kind of experiment?” I returned,
no rain gear for me, an adult without worry of storm.

“It’s a mystery,” she breathed,
eyes intent on vermillion,
globes luminous in the gloaming.

“And how will we know…” I slapped at my arm,
gnawed by a hungry mosquito.

“The Frog Children will come!”
Her incredulous wide eyes squared at me,
not allowing a finish to my question.

“Of course. I forgot.” I bowed to her fervor.

“They will come through the steam.”

“You mean fog.”

“No! The steam.”
And she steered her umbrella toward the pond.

We stood guard until dark.
No Frog Children came.

“Oh, well!” with a shrug and she flit back through
our wooden kitchen door, swallowed up
by the inky hall to her bedroom.

Tomorrow will percolate new mysteries for us
in our garden of bell jars, tomatoes, and steam.

 

Author’s Note:

This poem is from hour 14 of the 24 Hour Poetry Marathon. The prompt was as follows:

Write a poem that contains at least five of the following ten words. Feel free to include all ten if you wish: Frogs, Evening, Tomatoes, Jars, Raincoat, Steam, Peculating (Which I read as “percolating” by accident after fourteen hours of writing,) , Children, Elbow (Which I changed to arm in the final draft. ), Mystery.