publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem


David Floody lives in Tofino, B.C.

© 2008 David Floody

Tree-beard Lichen (Usnea)

Subtle amphibians live on these red cedars
in a frog-soft marriage of fungi and algae,
inserting delicate web-tips into the deepest crevices
of their ancient hosts and tempted up to rampart heights to overlook
eight-hundred years of soaring solitude.

Their vapour breaths dissolving air in water
make rain-coloured fronds of forest on forest,
the least of things arraying the arms of giants to touch
the farthest fingers of creation and patter silver streams of drops
uplifting rooted stands of acolytes below.

Do we blindly ripple out our ignorant destructions
and manage the massive thrusts into neat pieces,
relentless right angles of singular uniformity?
Do we stand apart in panting satisfaction
at our power to bring their green horizons low
and stare in doubtful wonder at the empty space of air?

David Floody: "Tree-beard Lichen (Usnea)," was inspired by my curiosity about the nature of the hanging mosses that garland the alders and old-growth cedars in my new home, by the discovery that they are both an algae and a fungus living in symbiotic relationship, and by the continuing threat to their existence with the accelerating development in the Tofino area.