This entry is part 7 of 29 in the series Wildflower Poems


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

Coptis trifolia

White-lipped anthers
purse & part.
The sturdy styles end in hooks —
it’s not enough to be adhesive.
Nectar pools in the petals’
yellow spoons
above a white dish of sepals,
which shatters in the first hard wind.

This blooming is so early & brief,
the leaves are better known:
like the glossiest strawberry leaves
you’ve ever seen
growing in the least fertile,
most pristine parts of the forest,
far from plow & logger,
from fire & subdivision,
just under the scruffy
surface of the world
threading a net of gold.

Series Navigation← Marsh MarigoldFoamflower →


  1. I must say this is a beautiful series and collaboration of photos and poetry, Dave and Jennifer!


    1. Thanks, Marja-Leena. Satisfaction is of course fatal, but I’m pleasantly surprised by how well it’s going so far — and I’m more impressed with Jennifer’s photos the longer I look at them.


      1. Aw Shucks… Any chance you can come to Jamestown when the exhibit is up? We can schedule a poetry reading!


        1. There’s gonna be an exhibit? I guess I didn’t focus on that part of it. Sure, presuming the project works out and I can get there via train or bus.


  2. I’ve got a heavy dose of envy: to see this flower in the wild; to capture a photo so gorgeous; to write of anthers & shatters.


    1. I’ve never seen it in blossom myself (we don’t have them here in the hollow) so yeah — me too! And I’m sure it’s not easy to get good macro shots of such small beasties, especially when they insist on growing in very damp situations.


    1. Thanks! (Though I wrote this yesterday when I should’ve been editing a podcast. Sorry about that!)


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