О Greater Light, we praise Thee for the less;
The eastern light our spires touch at morning,
The light that slants upon our western doors at evening.
The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight,
Moon light and star light, owl and moth light,
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.
О Light Invisible, we worship Thee!
~T.S. Eliot from “O Light Invisible”
Look, in the early light,
Down to the infinite
Depths at the deep grass-roots;
Where the sun shoots
In golden veins, as looking through
A dear pool one sees it do;
Where campion drifts
Its bladders, iris-brinded, through the rifts
Of rising, falling seed
That the winds lightly scour—
Down to the matted earth where over
And over again crow’s-foot and clover
And pink bindweed
Dimly, steadily flower.
~Michael Field “The Depths of the Grass”
We wove hip-high field grass
knotting the tops
of bunched handfuls the drooping
heads tied together.
My seven siblings and I
inside these labyrinths
in a galaxy of grasses.
~Heather Cahoon “Shelter”
As a child I liked to go out far into our hay field and find the tallest patch of grass. There, like a dog turning circles before a nap, I’d trample down the tall waving stems that stretched up almost to my eyes, and create a grass nest, just cozy enough for me. I’d sit or lie down in this tall green fortress, gazing up at the blue sky, and watch the clouds lazily drift over top of me. I’d suck on a hollow stem or two, to savor the bitter grass juice. Time felt suspended.
Scattered around my grassy cage, looking out of place attached to the broad grass stems, would be innumerable clumps of white foam. I’d tease out the hidden green spit bugs with their little black eyes from their white frothy bubble encasement. I too felt “bubble-wrapped” in my green hide-a-way.
My grassy nest was a time of retreat from the world. I felt protected, surrounded, encompassed and free –at least until I heard my mother calling for me from the house, or a rain shower started, driving me to run for cover, or my dog found me by following my green path.
It has been decades since I hid away in a grass fort trying to defoam spit bugs. Surely, I’m overdue: instead of being determined to mow down and level the grass around me, I long for a galaxy of grassy bubble-wrap.
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