The Grass Said to Me (as I thought of Whitman)

The Grass Said To Me  (As I Thought of Whitman)

The grass said to me
”what is a child?”
I did not know how to answer the grass for I do not speak
in shush or spring-back
or any of the many tongues
of green.
I do not feel that I know
how to regroup,
or how to take a death at my roots
and smile it almost equally
into sun and rain–

But this much I do know:
that when a child crawls across me and grass alike,
we all three
grow more alive.
What grounds us cups us gently (even as
laughs tumble)
while what lies beneath that ground strains hard to listen,
and does, in fact, hear,
for the cup that holds us fits too
about its dark grained ear,
oh yes.



Drafty poem for my own prompt on Real Toads to write of “what is….”  Pic is mine .

Hi all!  I’ve missed you. k. 

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17 Comments on “The Grass Said to Me (as I thought of Whitman)”

  1. Oh, this is so perfectly wonderful, especially the crawling child and the earth listening. (It does.) Wonderful, Karin!

  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Oh, yes indeed. Such a unique perspective, Karin. Your voice holds accord with Whitman’s. I love this poem.

  3. sanaarizvi Says:

    Love this especially; “But this much I do know: that when a child crawls across me and grass alike, we all three grow more alive.” 💜

  4. I love the perspective of the grass. It does complement the Whitman poem in a magnificent (and very playful way). I have to believe that the grass enjoy to cradle a child

  5. Jim Says:

    This reads ‘nice’, K. Of course children can converse with the world when they want, grass for sure. You also once could, their language remains the ‘Universal Gardenese’ which most of us have forgotten. I remember bits. Sometimes ‘Pig Latin’ works as well, especially by the older kids when they become proficient.
    You asked ” Hope all is well” as rhetorical but my answer is “well, but it could be better.” Presently I am immobilizing my left leg as that kneecap has cracked. A six week process, the doc and I are allowing it to grow back together if it will. If not, ???. My right kneecap never mended after a fall. We elected to not do surgery but it is now calcified, not bone, together. I have two more weeks to go wearing this restrictive leg brace. Thanks for asking, sorry, TMI ???

    • Jim Says:

      Thanks for the nice prompt, it might make a good series as there are sooo many choices.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Dear Jim–I am writing you on your blog to make sure you see it–gee, I am so very very sorry to hear about your knee. That sounds just terribly painful. I am glad that you seem to keep up your good spirits, but hope it is not too bad and that you will be free of the brace soon (and that it will have made it all feel better.) Take care, k.

  6. Your voice resonates with Whitman’s. I enjoyed how the second half reads with the child crawling and the laugh tumbling

  7. grapeling Says:

    personal, close to the ground: a wonderful perspective. good to read you, K ~

  8. Brendan Says:

    This is magnificent, Karin, a love letter to Whitman and poetry. The “what is” of the first stanza is answered succinctly and on target — “what grounds us cups us gently.” That was Whitman’s joy, and you carry it in the cup of this poem.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you so much, Brendan. I lost the first poem I wrote for this prompt and so was very pleased when this idea popped into my head. I do really love Whitman. I was so struck by your wonderful poem and the stones of your father. Thanks so much for participating in the prompt. k.

  9. helen dehner Says:

    Your beautiful poem takes me back, many years, to my childhood and the smell of freshly cut grass, rolling down the hill next to our home on thick lush grass. I never want to lose the feelings.

  10. ManicDdaily Says:

    Thank you so much, Helen. Sounds so lovely.

  11. MrsBednar Says:

    To be barefoot upon summer grass… The smell of it fresh cut… The first time I place one of my children upon it … I have an adorable photo of my youngest son investigating grass for the first time – He could barely sit up on his own 🙂

  12. willow88switches Says:

    I was most thrilled with your prompt Karin (although I didn’t write to it – maybe I’ll come around eventually) …. and I have to say, I’m enraptured by your poem. It is so perfectly in voice – yours, of course, and in spirit, of Whitman. And I love the stanzas – they are marvelous – each word and phrase is just so tenderly perfect – I feel like I’m experiencing a zen moment – a moment so unexpected that it catches me unawares and I feel the need to run outside and stand, in the grass – listening hard. Stunning!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much for your very kind words! Glad that you liked the poem and prompt. Whitman is just terrific, and what’s good in mine, I owe to him.


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