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"Awen yn codi o'r cudd ac yn cydio'r cwbl"
- Waldo Williams
(Awen arising from hiding and everything binding)



SCURVYGRASS



Scurvygrass growing on cliffs with Thrift.
 Borth, May 2021
Scurvygrass on cliffs.
 Borth. May 2021




This one's a cliffhanger - sailors
At sea sicken for
A haven from the waves,
Searching the shore,
Finding in rocky coves
A promise of kindness in its petals,
Healing in its heart-shaped leaves
.
Old Botanical Print - Scurvygrass

Scurvygrass is salt tolerant and grows extensively by the sea. Containing lots of available Vitamin C, it was used to treat sufferers from scurvy - "those that lie lamentable sick of the scurvies", as Gerard put it in his Herbal - which particularly affected sailors  deprived of fresh vegetables while at sea, so collected as a cure when they made landfall.




 

4 comments:

  1. What a charming little “herbalist” poem. Is this the next installment of a series?

    I noted the alliteration, is it mean to conjure the drone of the sea? Very positive imagery in the final lines. Looking back at the previous few poetic offerings I notice a very cheery hopeful tone resonates through them - that’s my interpretation of the language used. I’m not a poet, nor am I criticizing, but maybe the next herbal poem should take another turn in emotional feel? It’s always a pleasure reading your pieces of art, looking forward to the next adventure!

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    Replies
    1. It might be, continued on my new blog location.

      Alliteration here, yes, but also half-rhyme and an attempt at compression.

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  2. Thanks for sharing - not a plant I see often not living near the sea. I notice the Latin name, Cochlearia, derives from kókhlos, seashell, which is also fitting and puts me in mind of a conch calling sick sailors back to shore.

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    Replies
    1. I think the original Greek source is a word for ‘spoon’ - a spoonful of medicine! ;)

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