Monday, March 16, 2009

The Métier of Blossoming

- Denise Levertov

Fully occupied with growing--that's

the amaryllis. Growing especially

at night: it would take

only a bit more patience than I've got

to sit keeping watch with it till daylight;

the naked eye could register every hour's

increase in height. Like a child against a barn door,

proudly topping each year's achievement,

steadily up

goes each green stem, smooth, matte,

traces of reddish purple at the base, and almost

imperceptible vertical ridges

running the length of them:

Two robust stems from each bulb,

sometimes with sturdy leaves for company,

elegant sweeps of blade with rounded points.

Aloft, the gravid buds, shiny with fullness.

One morning--and so soon!--the first flower

has opened when you wake. Or you catch it poised

in a single, brief

moment of hesitation.

Next day, another,

shy at first like a foal,

even a third, a fourth,

carried triumphantly at the summit

of those strong columns, and each

a Juno, calm in brilliance,

a maiden giantess in modest splendor.

If humans could be

that intensely whole, undistracted, unhurried,

swift from sheer

unswerving impetus!

If we could blossom

out of ourselves, giving

nothing imperfect, withholding nothing!

[NOTE: This was originally posted on Dec 11, 2006.]

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