nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

a moment of beautiful – a button of moss

with 32 comments


the space: at ground level, in the grey woods

the beautiful: a little button of moss, emerald green

~

Mosses are a beautiful, enigmatic group of plants.  Except for a few well-known species, they simply grow unnamed and unnoticed by most people.  The beauty of the mosses, especially under the stereo-microscope, where you can see so much detail,  was what attracted me to the study of botany in the first place.

We have many species of moss in our Grey Woods.  I long to be able to take the time to identify every one.  For now, though, I content myself with a few common names and some of my own ‘made-up’ names.

I call this little moss ‘The Button’.  Wherever I find it, it seems to grow in a little cushion.  Its surface is like velvet and its color is a lovely shade of lime green.

 

~

~

a button to press

~

resist the urge

to depress this plump of moss

firmly with a finger

~

will take you up

to the first floor

where the bunchberry blooms

or the second where bracken

planks an ephemeral floor

or the 67th where leaves align

precisely with sun

~

or down

to where the roots criss-cross

in confused abandon

~

~

©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

June 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

32 Responses

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  1. What a wonderful little button of moss. I love that I can almost picture your Grey Woods, not just piece by piece or plant by plant, but as a whole. I know what the bunchberry you mention in your poem is. I’d never seen them before our visit to NB. I almost want to push the button and see where it takes me after reading reading your poem. 🙂

    Like

    Robin

    June 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    • Hi Robin. It would be hard to miss those bunchberries, they are everywhere! I don’t know if you remember I have a Grey Woods map in my ‘Pages’. Have you ever made a map of your pond and path? Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      • I don’t remember seeing it, Jane. I’ll have a look now. I’ve never made a good map of the pond and paths. I took some photos and put in arrows and text and such for one blog post, but a map is a good idea. Thank you. 🙂

        Like

        Robin

        June 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm

  2. I have just been reading in a paper around here that “forest bathing” the translation of the Japanese “Shinrin-Yoku” is finding a growing mound of medical research that supports the idea that submerging in the deep woods boosts your immune system…among other good things. No wonder so many people are getting sick nowadays…too few woods to immerse ourselves in.

    Like

    snowbirdpress

    June 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    • Hi. I have heard about this. It makes sense to me since we are part of our environment. If I don’t have nature in my life, I don’t do as well. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 13, 2012 at 7:05 am

  3. What a lovely post! I always am stopped in wonder whenever I discover these magic buttons in the woods. They seem like something the faeries could have made.

    Like

    Carol Steel

    June 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    • Hi Carol. Faerie-Land… a good name for our woods. A friend of mine made an enchanted path for her children in her woods… I think they embellished it with some special touches (like doors in tree trunks), but children will find their own magic in the woods. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm

  4. Button moss seems a fine name for this species, Jane!

    Like

    Watching Seasons

    June 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    • Hi Merrill. Eventually I’ll find out its real name, but it will always be ‘The Button’ to me! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      • I know, I do the same thing myself. Thankfully I have some good friends who come behind me correcting things and adding the info I can’t carry around in this old head of mine.

        Like

        snowbirdpress

        June 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm

  5. I’ve been away for the weekend… to a lake in Mass. Walking through the woods, exploring all the botany along the way (together with inch worms!) There were a lot of wild strawberries (I was going to post this under your strawberry post but it opens here)… We were with a herbalist and it was very interesting indeed. She had prepared many tinctures and teas for us to sample. Being sensitive to everything, I stuck to a lemon tea….

    There was a stone frog in a fountain up at the house… And a moss had started to grow all around and up the sides of the frog. I had been there two years ago but had not seen any sign of moss…so I was wondering what kind of moss could grow up a (concrete) frog…. That fascinated me….

    Like

    snowbirdpress

    June 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    • Hi. I love to see moss growing on concrete or rock… it provides both age and ambiance. Your hike in the woods sounds very interesting. It’s especially good if you are with someone who knows the local plants. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      • Our guide was a herbalist – she even had prepared a hemlock tea… 🙂 and told us that the native Americans got their vitamin C from the hemlock tree…I didn’t try that although others did and enjoyed it.

        Like

        snowbirdpress

        June 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      • Hi. I went to a traditional wild plant food workshop last year and tasted some different preparations, including teas made from Balsalm Fir and Yellow Birch. No Eastern Hemlock though. Jane

        Like

        jane tims

        June 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm

  6. Brilliant metaphor. Well done altogether.

    Like

    Jane Fritz

    June 10, 2012 at 11:25 am

  7. I love mosses too – yesterday walked through vibrant green beech forest where all the trunks were covered as if in green velvet. As you say, some of them are like little cushions & they do give you an irresistible urge to touch!

    Like

    Sonya Chasey

    June 10, 2012 at 8:07 am

    • Hi Sonya. The greens in your paintings often remind me of mosses. They cover the trees here too, especially in the wetter forests. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 11, 2012 at 7:00 am

  8. Jane, what a lovely, delightful poem. I’d like to stop on the 67th floor, please. It’s marvelous how sometimes they just pop out.

    Like

    seedbud

    June 10, 2012 at 7:33 am

    • Hi. Thanks! As I write for my project on ‘growing and gethering’, I am mindful that once a poem is published on the internet, not many magazines will accept it for publication… so I always try to create two poems for every plant I look at. The poems for the blog often turn out better than those I set aside for sending out! I guess you can’t dictate to creativity!! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 10, 2012 at 7:42 am

  9. I recently flew and saw lots of red fields below. I couldn’t figure out what the crop was. Now I’m thinking that it may have been red sorrel in fields that were returning to nature.

    Like

    Sheryl

    June 10, 2012 at 1:18 am

    • Hi. Perhaps! I love to see the patchwork below when I fly. That’s one thing Helena could never have done! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 10, 2012 at 7:29 am

  10. I love the imagined mega building associated with this “Button” moss. I’d like to tour that building!

    Like

    weedimageoftheday

    June 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    • Hi. I think I will build a post about the layers in the woods and give you a tour! Thanks for your comment! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 10, 2012 at 7:27 am

  11. nice one, Jane…

    Like

    singingbones

    June 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

  12. Excellent poem Jane!

    Like

    JD

    June 9, 2012 at 10:14 am

    • Hi. Thanks. This one only took a few minutes to actually ‘write’. I think every time I pass that little clump of moss, on my path, the poem has been building! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      June 10, 2012 at 7:25 am

      • Yeah, I find the ‘best’ ones are those that spill forth effortlessly. Check out the work of Ken Babstock, this years Giller prize winner. Fantastic stuff.

        Like

        JD

        June 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

      • Hi. Yes, check out his answers on http://arts.nationalpost.com/2012/06/05/the-griffin-poetry-prize-questionnaire-ken-babstock/ … I just can’t think like that!!! Jane

        Like

        jane tims

        June 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

      • I read it before … me thinks its his attempt at being funny. Isn’t it always the way … poets are usually weird people …lol. I’m sure you’re a well of funny puns that could rival his answers any day. Maybe some day I’ll be reading yours in the National Post? 🙂

        Like

        JD

        June 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

      • Hi. Well, I wish… regarding the eccentricities of poets, I remember one year of the Maritime Writer’s Workshop, it was so hot. All the writers went around like dishrags… not the poets! Every one of them had an electric fan. At the poetry sessions, you could hardly think… it always sounded like a huge helicopter taking off… Jane

        Like

        jane tims

        June 11, 2012 at 7:09 am


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