A generous selection of eleven Poems About Moss went up last night at ICHNOS, a project of Unwin-Dunraven Literary Ecclesia.
In this strange moment of stuff-I-wrote-before-the-election-appearing-after-the-election, I’ve been thinking about what moss poems are for now. Where I’m at: moss poems are about valuing lifeforms that are not human, avoiding the self-centeredness (and species-centeredness) that leads us to do so much violence to the world around us without thinking twice about it.
Here is Robin Wall Kimmerer in Gathering Moss: “But mosses don’t usually have common names, for no one has bothered with them.” Bothering with moss means bothering with what we don’t normally take time to see. This attentiveness applies to other lifeforms as well as to other people and to systems that connect and/or separate us invisibly. Paying attention to systems of meaning that are not the ones we are used to is how we expand and become better instead of worse. Even something as small as moss is part of that.