Wednesday, 13 June 2012

margaret tait


I used to lie in wait to see the clover open
Or close,
But never saw it.
I was too impatient,
Or the movement is too subtle,
And more than momentary.
My five-year-old self would tire of waiting
And when I looked again
– All closed for the night!
I missed it
Once more.

I have registered the opening of escholtzia
On an early summer morning.
It gave me a sharp awareness of time passing,
Of exact qualities and values in the light,
But I didn’t see the movement
As movement.
I didn’t with my own direct perception see the petals
Later, on the film, they seemed to open swiftly,
But, at the time,
Although I stared
And felt time not so much moving as being moved in
And felt
A unity of time and place with other times and places
I didn’t see the petals moving.
I didn’t see them opening.
They were closed,
And later they were open,
And in between I noted many phases,
But I didn’t see them moving open.
My timing and my rhythm could not observe the
rhythm of their opening.

The thing about poetry is you have to keep doing it.
People have to keep making it.
The old stuff is no use
Once it’s old.
It comes out of the instant
And lasts for an instant.
Take it now
Without water.


Tomorrow they’ll be something else.


Susan said...

I did not expect the beauty of the two missed movements to lead up to poetry! And tho I relish many poems of the dead and gone, I totally see the truth of your comparisons. The poem is the flower. Carpe diem.

swiss said...


Roxana said...

so lovely!

maybe that is why i have never been a fan of those videos showing flowers opening fast, they destroy the ineffable mystery of a process beyond our perception.

swiss said...

worth checking out her films if you've time. portrait of ga has some parts that are very familiar to me