The Staghorn Fern: A poem

Photo of a fern tree
Philipp Michel Reichold/Creative Commons

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It swings from aching wood above the yard,

afloat, unbothered by an earthly weight;

a strain of creaks and moans leaves silence scarred,

as unreality unfurls and baits.


It seems to prosecute through nature’s reign,

green scales atop its olden, rotting skin;

the ropes are burrowed under, ever strained,

and swallowed like the ancient bones within.


It begs for my attention and acclaim,

with stretching tendrils pulling at my mind;

a vegetative, dominating aim,

assimilating with mankind.


It slows against the wind and points a claw,

one beastly hand among the stolen stash;

“A stag — a pair of antlers for your flaws,”

it says, “so join, despite your mortal ash.”


It hosts a world of its invited kin,

and I, though beckoned, fear the ghastly being;

my Mother sees it, looking past its sin,

and says, “It seems the Mother of all things.”

Contact Logan Roscoe at [email protected]