This entry is part 8 of 29 in the series Wildflower Poems


Foamflower by Jennifer Schlick
Foamflower by Jennifer Schlick (click to see larger)

Tiarella cordifolia

An island in a mountain stream
covered with foamflower
is scoured down to the rocks
by a hundred-year flood.
But some piece of root
or stolon must persist, for
within three years the rocks
are hidden once again by a crowd
of maple-shaped leaves,
paired like open palms around
the tall flower stalks—
a gesture of acceptance
or of letting go. And these
their offerings are nothing less
than galaxies. White stars
storm in the heat of sex—
long male streamers,
a sharp-tipped female flare—
& pull wandering bees
into their orbit. Creation
& destruction follow each other
like night & day: even as
the oldest florets begin to collapse,
anticipating the inward turn
& the dry rattle, pubescent buds
at the top of the cluster
are brimming with the light
of imminent dawns.

Series Navigation← GoldthreadFalse Solomon’s Seal →


  1. Unrelated but “Foamflower” twigged my attention because I thought it said “Foamfollower”, the name of the most endearing character in a fantasy series by Stephen Donaldson. The character has a pure gentle heart, is wise, and enduring. Perhaps not so unrelated after all.


    1. Well, it’s always helpful to learn about unintended cultural resonances in a poem. Thanks.


  2. Your exposition would make (or is a start) to a good introduction to a volume I’d like to have in my hands. Hint. Hint.


    1. Thanks. How much would you be prepared to pay for such a book? Full-color reproduction isn’t cheap, especially through print-on-demand services.


    1. Thanks. This one is almost too high-concept for me, but maybe I’ll come to like it.


      1. Nothing wrong with a little epic comparison… And foamflowers are so frothy and so thick with activity and transformation–you capture that nicely. Seems to fit.


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