(One summer, for a few days, Orkney was full of white grass everywhere!)
<a href="https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Eriophorum_angustifolium" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Source</a>
I call the strange grass spume-grass:
under lapwings’ crying, stems and stems,
pale mops or fluffs of white
by marsh-edge, sodden hems
by streams, so singly beaconed first,
then places fairly giving way
to whirling cavort, snowy plants.
I watched – and everything grew mild.
My heart went out to them but came back wild.
They are their Orkney Islands’ white possessivenesses.
Never have so many seeming-stirred been wild wind-woken
under stones and stunts of trees.
See how they pucker out their sheer unbroken
sheen of white unfolding fleeces and flights.
They’re rising and white riggings rain! And yet,
and yet, their white tips
and their green-flag-silver-stippled stems
are changing in my vision to black phlegms!
Never to have known them here more beautiful
nor ever burnt to sing and match those sung.
A bevy are continuously spreading silver-threading roots
from pools, from lathes of earth, from dung;
and every pail of excrement has harboured wings
of white, and countless stirring graces,
for the mind’s a gyre of furious contradictions
with spume-graced dung embedded furtively therein.
If humans make this less than tragedy,
what flower can win?