Mountain Gifts

Back permanently bent from years at task,
large calloused hands firm to grasp,
gently assess tendrils amongst the greens.

Red kerchief upon her head, basket nearby
knapsack slung on hunched shoulders
eyes to ground, the healer gathers.

Moon watcher, earth cycles familiar
as her own once were. Old woman
wise in the land, one of generations.

Young girl, the next, hovers quietly
beside rivers, through brambles,
seeks to learn mountain’s gifts.

Veined hands reach, crack dogwood bark
fingers roll to crumble butterfly weed.
Touch, not eye, decides to take or not.

Blue cohash, huckleberry, lady slippers.
Sun fades. Moccasin flower roots,
tomorrow’s liquid for aching throat.

She walks the mountainside pharmacopeia
long Joe-pye-weed from the shores,
reishi mushrooms tucked below trees.

Purple fox glove for Pauni’s heart,
bee balm and peppermint leaves,
hawthorne twigs for ceremonial wreaths.

Harvest complete, they slowly return,
woman healer and one to be.
Stars orbit, complete the cycle
whilst moon waxes and wanes.

Late for Tuesday Poetics when guest prompter Lynn asked us to write something related to mountains; so posting now at dVerse Open Links Night.  Photo Credit:  Michael and Christa Richert.

30 thoughts on “Mountain Gifts

  1. Grace March 31, 2016 / 12:40 pm

    What a delightful gift in that basket – flowers, roots, twigs & leaves ~ The young girl is wise to seek to learn the mountain’s gifts ~

    Lillian, you can link up this poem when OLN night opens at 3pm EST today ~ This is a gem to read ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 31, 2016 / 2:04 pm

      So glad you like it! Will link in at 3 today!


  2. Sanaa Rizvi March 31, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    Oh! This is absolutely beautiful… love the images here 😀

    Lots of love,


    • lillian March 31, 2016 / 4:00 pm

      So very glad you enjoyed, Sanaa. Happy Thursday!


  3. Linda Kruschke March 31, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    What a beautiful picture of the older generation passing knowledge and wisdom to the younger generation. Peace, Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kanzensakura March 31, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    Oh how I like this! many years ago, in my “yute”, I lived in the high mountains of NC and for a year, was apprenticed to a Cherokee healer – this so reminds me of her and the time spent and lessons learned. And welcome back… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian March 31, 2016 / 3:58 pm

      Oh that must have been a wonderful experience! Glad to be back 😊


      • kanzensakura March 31, 2016 / 4:08 pm

        It was….three years out of university and needing peace….

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary March 31, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    Passing the idea of woman healer from one generation to another….love the thought of that. Well expressed in your poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian March 31, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      Exactly! Interesting that in ancient times women were the healers. Glad you liked it.


  6. Truedessa March 31, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    We need to teach the next generations about the mountain gifts. Women were great healers through the ages as they had knowledge of herbs and plants. Delightful read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 1, 2016 / 8:21 am

      Yes — it’s a fascinating read to do the research and learn about the gifts these women held in commune with nature. There is a movement now, back to nature’s healing ways. When we lived in the country eons ago, I loved to hang drying lavender and bittersweet in our kitchen. Glad you liked this one.


    • lillian April 1, 2016 / 8:23 am

      ah….cut down on the inclusion of the flowers and weeds? I wondered about that. That’s what’s nice about a quadrille prompt — it limits the poem to 44 words. I must admit, I so enjoyed doing the research for this one that I had a hard time limiting the number of flowers, branches etc. Glad you liked the description.


  7. Sumana Roy April 1, 2016 / 1:47 am

    learning is life specially when the teachers are nature and the wise…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 1, 2016 / 9:53 am

      ah….on to my second cup and reading your reply here! Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. navasolanature April 1, 2016 / 10:47 am

    I love your portrayal of the old, young and the new. Beautifully described and contrasted.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. katiemiafrederick April 20, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    Approaching the Full
    moon now of Friday
    this week.. 3 weeks
    now from this
    prompt here..
    Magic iS iN
    the liGht oF
    Moon Child BriGht
    years go by.. centuries
    eons and Aeons sAMe
    noW continues whOle
    in moon
    break liGht
    and TrUth of
    wRite oN

    Liked by 1 person

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