Tender Buttons: Fern

A potted fern rusts in the corner.
Why is it trapped in porcelain?
An alveolus from the lungs of a forest,
a socket for the wind’s teeth.
the fern in the pot sucks and nibbles
at the room’s stale air,
exhaling just enough oxygen
to stir the net curtain.

Kim M. Russell, 4th April 2020

Fern In Pot Illustration, Engraving, Ink, Line Art, Vector Royalty ...
Image found on 123RF.com

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads NaPoWriMo Day 4 Play it Again in April 2020Caution: Tender Buttons, also linked to earthweal open link

On 4th April 2013, Izy set an Out of Standard challenge with excerpts from Gertrude Stein’s collection of poems, Tender Buttons, which is simultaneously considered to be a masterpiece of verbal cubism and a spectacular failure. Stein’s book is divided into three parts: Objects, Food, and Rooms. The challenge was to read the given excerpts and write a short poem about an object, food, or room in the style of Stein.

I’m merging this prompt with Kerry’s Skylover Wordlist, sourced from Dylan Thomas’s poetry collection Deaths and Entrances, from which the fourth word is ‘fern’. A tricky challenge!

28 thoughts on “Tender Buttons: Fern

  1. Hi Kim! Love this….you rose to this tricky challenge! I especially like these lines:
    “a socket for the wind’s teeth.
    the fern in the pot sucks and nibbles”
    They are really clever in their descriptions!

    Technical guru I’m not! I’ve been writing to Toads prompts but did not understand where to enter in Mr Linky. Finally understood today and therefore in my post for day 4, I’ve also given the links for days 1, 2, and 3. Although not a frequent participant to Toads, I think it was Toni who introduced me to the site and then your mention of it for this April. I am really enjoying her prompts….quite challenging, each in its own way. So nice to see you and many of the dVerse gang here…and now I will get about reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read the Stein challenge but found it very difficult–you have really nailed it here. I’m impressed at the elegant and concise encapsulating that begins with ‘trapped in porcelain.’ Really an excellent response to a very tricky challenge, and an excellent poem in its own right as well.

    Like

  3. Ohhh I’m swooning …. ferns as sockets for the wind’s teeth! Wow! Now that is absolutely fabulous. I love ferns – where I live there are literally huge swathes, field size , of them, naturally. So I’m smitten and fascinated by how they spring up and then live their life cycles. I often write about them in my personal musings. So reading your poem Kim has me completely awestruck. I love it. I can’t count the ways. Just brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Pat! We have ferns in the local woods, which are a short drive away. I can’t wait for the lockdown to end so I can wander among trees and plants. Potted ferns look lovely but I think it’s the same as caging a wild animal. I wouldn’t have one.

      Like

  4. Bravo for tackling the challenge! You did it well. I love the contrast between the fern in the pot and its counterpot in the forest, which makes me wonder if the fern in the pot is yearning for its home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bravo for tackling the challenge! You did it well. I love the contrast between the fern in the pot and its counterpot in the forest, which makes me wonder if the fern in the pot is yearning for its home.

    Liked by 1 person

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