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:

I am very honored to have my poem, Resurrection Fern, included in The 2019 Poetry Marathon Anthology. It is always a unique experience to write a poem an hour for 24 hours straight.

There are some lovely poems from poets around the world included in this year’s journal. Take a look and join us next year!


DNA of Snow

I am of a land of snowIMG_3474

Grey sky clouded, a silken mantle
penumbra of summer’s fireball,
my rooted winter seduction.

Here I rest.

My body loosens heavy with DNA
bonded to white earth, a lineal marrow
from ancestors long past.

I know this spell.

A postulation on a spiral staircase,
each rung fashioned in every cell of my being,
passed from one generation unknown
to the next. My lungs inhale
chill laden breath and I am at ease.

I am native to this acclimation.

Somewhere my alphabet of four letters,
my twisted ladder of encoded knowledge
begins where flakes mass, light is vague,
and sound is pillowed into nullity.

I am of a sanctuary of snow,
my tribe’s nucleus bequeathed to me.




Author’s Note:

Unlike any other time, when the first snow falls, well, at least four of five inches, I feel my body relax. I am not one who thrives in bright sun, hot breezes, and sunglasses.

Today we had such a snow.

As I reached the crest of Smoky Hill, the vast sky was grey, flakes were falling, and snow covered the front range of the Rocky Mountains filled my view. I breathed more deeply, my grip on the steering wheel loosened, and a small voice inside my head whispered, “Finally.”

I’ve been reading about how scientists are finding that trauma from the past of those who were tortured or abused, that those events actually change their DNA. It is then passed on to future generations who can experience the trauma themselves years and years later. If this is true, then it must partially explain my deep connection to snow and soft grey skies and cold chilly air.

I thank my tribe, whoever and wherever they were, for bringing me home today.