Thursday, March 31, 2016

Stephen Bone- A Poem

Fern Fever

Joints crackling
like winter bracken she lifts
heavy glass domes, mists

trembling plumes
of maidenhair, asparagus;
is taken

back to damp cool woods,
a warm steadying hand;
remembers specimens glued
to ivory vellum

sent from far-flung counties,
names that startled, thrilled -
broad buckler, moonwort,
adder's tongue - black inked
beneath in faultless copperplate,
then gifts,

a pearl handled lens,
exquisite framed diagrams.
Fern fever they had called it,
this passion

for foraging, to identify;
the hope of finding
some thing rare.

( Fern fever was the name given to the Victorian craze for fern collecting )
This poem was first published in The Dawntreader # 34
Stephen Bone's first collection published by Playdead Press 2014.

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