Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Fiddlehead Song

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The voice rose like musty fragrance,
from leaf-littered substrate to my ear.

“Do you love me?”

I stooped low.

“Do you love me?”
inquired harlequin green fern
in fiddlehead curl and tuck.

“Of course I do,”
I replied.

“Then, please sing me a song.”

I balked.

Here the delicate melodings of thrushes
disarm choirs of angels
hand-selected by the gods.

I could offer nothing better than an
off-pitched Corvid grok.
On a good day.

“I can gift you some water,
or how about my favorite ring?”

I was hopeful.

“Sing me a song.”

My hopes were dashed.

So I sat there at trailside for 36 straight hours,
nervously relocating last Autumn’s acorns among piles.

How to honor, not insult?

I mused and agonized
as sunlight and moonlight
took turns wandering through the nascent woods.

And then a cool breeze stirred
the understory and me.

“It’s all about intent,”
came the re-minder from my
exasperated mystic pal
on a higher mountain far away.



I sighed and giggled at
my human folly.

And then I claimed
who I am.

Fire ignited deep within my belly cauldron,
causing feisty cleansing steams
to rise within
and purify.

Dews burning off at dawn
serve the forest similarly,

And so, with great intent, I sang:

“I love you…”

to the harlequin fiddlehead,


my voice every bit as
unabashedly wretched as I’d feared.


But before I could offer up an apology
worthy of such outlandish disgrace,

the Osmundia fern replied:

“That’s the most beautiful
thing I’ve ever heard,”

and unfurled.

(c) 2011-2014/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life." (


  1. Thank you Jamie
    This gives me strength
    in what I feel I need to
    act on

  2. I don't know why I found this song so moving.. I always think it's a bit much when people say they were moved to tears, by poetry.. but strangely, this piece did just that, Jamie.. love and gratitude, Scott.

  3. I've had more than a few intimate conversations with ferns and moss, but none so demanding as this little frond.. : )