poems

Lichen Poetry

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This is a small poem by Pablo Neruda, who was exquisitely observant of the world he inhabited. Does anyone else have a lichen poem? Send it to us!

Lichen on Stone

Llichen on stone; the web

of green rubber

weaves an old hieroglyphic,

unfolding the script

of the sea

on the curve of a boulder.

The sun reads it. The mollusk devours it.

Fish slither

on stone, with a bristling of hackles.

An alphabet moves in the silence,

printing its drowned incunabula

on the naked flank of the beaches.

The lichens

climb, higher, plaiting and braiding, piling

their nap in the caverns of ocean and air, coming

and going, until nothing may dance but the wave

and nothing persist but the wind.

-Pablo Neruda