I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')


Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

27 March 2008

The Grasses

The grasses say, We are tired.
We are getting a little dry.
We perch here on the edge of the cliff
in the path of the salt spray,
waving our stems and fronds
like begging hands upraised.

The creek ripples in silence
ignoring their plea,
flowing on its fast way
to the mouth of the estuary.
The lowering tide exposes
stingrays buried in sand.

They flap their triangular arms
and above them the surface is cut,
outlining their diamond shapes
in a series of circles and frills,
the long tails trailing.

The flying fish jump and dive
spearing the surface each way.
The shallows are sinking lower
beginning to rest on the sand.

We have seen it all day,
say the grasses, and all
the days before. Now
we are ready for sleep.

Over the way a rock
pokes whitely out of the water,
and up on the beach a tree
among the green turns orange.
The midges begin to sting
and I move away and start walking.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

22/3/08


Linked – eight years later – to Poetry Pantry #302 at Poets United

26 comments:

  1. I just read all of March's stuff and thank you for these pictures, worlds ... I'm right there in them. Yum.

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  2. Thanks, love. I'm very glad you said so. I don't usually write straight nature poetry but am having quite a spate of it lately! It's good to know it can create enjoyment for others.

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  3. I am a bit sad for the grasses....being so close to the water, but yet away from its reach! I can see them flapping their arms in hope!

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  4. Oh, how I resonate with the tired grasses. And how I adore this gorgeous description of things at the shore. Sigh. So beautiful, Rosemary!!!!!!

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  5. glorious scenes Rosemary...the mention of the stingrays take me back to dear crocodile hunter Steve Irwin....sigh...

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  6. And the grasses witness the helplessness of stingray and fish and tree. I hope they're not all ready for sleep!

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    1. This was written at the end of a long, hot summer. This last summer, there was a lot of rain!

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  7. The personification of the desperate grass is a wonderful start of the poem meandering out to the sea, and back again... a new favorite of yours...

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  8. AH, this is beautifully descriptive. It made me recall something I read somewhere, about how we tend to attribute a variety of intentions to Nature, when it is only indifferent.

    Beautifully penned. :)

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  9. The creek ripples in silence
    ignoring their plea,
    flowing on its fast way
    to the mouth of the estuary.

    Sigh.. such beautifully emotive lines!

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  10. The first verse is a most appealing, descriptive entree to a beautiful poem with a sense of lively character role plays. So fascinating and moving.

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  11. A single moment can create a ripple - there is so much - sound..sight..movement..and you have captured it all like a single vital breath

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  12. i feel sorry for those tired old grasses: tortured by season change yet seasons transition and there is where hope lies. Luv your repeated lines, makes reading (even if the theme is sad), a whole heap of fun

    much love...

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  13. Such detailed descriptions bring the whole scene to life..

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  14. Just looking a nature working is a delight. How beautifully you wrote this word picture to delight us.

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  15. i liked the personification of the grasses. as if they are witnesses to an imminent disaster, but are unable to warn about it. i am intrigued by the last line. is it just because the midges begin to sting, or is there something else? :)

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    1. Necessity. Unwelcome necessity, at that time.

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  16. I really admire how vivid this scene is that you paint. I feel like I can see, hear, and even smell what you are describing. Awesome.

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  17. This made me think of the droughts in so many areas and the grasses are parched for just a sip to help them grow.

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  18. Your imagery is vivid and vibrant with life at the shore. There is a subtle, quiet longing throughout,

    Elizabeth

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  19. This evoked the natural beauty of North East NSW.Your poem brought it back to my memory. Beautifully written. A keeper ! I remember being stung by midges on my eyelids up there . We use to swim with a giant sting ray lying in the sand on the bottom of a swimming hole at Byron...it got trapped in there....Before Steve Irwin of course...wouldn't do it now... ( I thought they were placid creatures back then) I think it was around 2008.

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  20. Beautiful piece, Rosemary! Wow! The shrill cries, and the 'flapping arms' of the grass has affected me deeply. Sigh! But...I Love love the imagery and description.

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  21. Eight years later. What a vivid and beautiful memory, a painting in words.

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  22. Ah, how important for us to be witnessed by someone, the grass teach us of being a good support for each other, I guess...thank you

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  23. You and the grasses seem to have a comfortable relationship with each other.

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  24. I can identify with the tired grasses, seeing all but never taking part. Being only what they are. Is it ever enough?

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