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Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Oak and the Begonia


Why should a flower-head
(a begonia)
decaying quietly on a path
look beautiful?

Why should a tree trunk
decomposed by fungi
(and much else)
look so magnificent?

It's ethylene that does the trick
they ripen to it
(time hormone: their inner clock)
or prematurely die.

Light, heat, lack of either,
is the switch
to synthesize it for themselves.
 (Or it's in polluted air.)

Glutinous mush now,
(the begonia)
haloed mauve and brown,
red polka-dotted.

Sunshine, and it looks edible
(delicious as a pudding).
I contemplate a name for it:
Humus Delight, I say.

The old oak tree
(wind blown) is
powdery.
Like crematorial ash.

And still I need to know
what (in the brain)
makes these
look beautiful.

There must be some
convergence
(structural) between
the seeing and the seen.

13 comments:

David Cranmer said...

There certainly is a lot of beauty to behold in decay.

Tabor said...

Perhaps the beauty is in change. Change means that the cycle is continuing.

Adrian L. said...

Decay, change, and beauty. A natural process.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Maybe it is in the eye of the beholder. I think you have to have a certain 'artistic' eye to see beauty in these things - many people I know would just avoid looking at them.

120 Socks said...

Oh wonderful, especially closing line!

Windsmoke. said...

Birth, life and death is what makes the world go round and all in one poem :-).

Mary said...

Hard to think of decay being beautiful, but it is part of the cycle of life. You are definitely such a scientist, Dave.

Dave King said...

David
Surprisingly so - though not everyone wants to look, I think.

Tabor
Interesting thought. Yes, I think there may be some mileage in that.

Adrian
Yes, and maybe it's the naturalness of it that appeals.

The Weaver of Grass
Yes, I think both of your propositions are so. Certainly they tally with my experience.

120 Socks
Thank you so much.

Windsmoke
The real trinity: all thre are one and the same. maybe.

Mary
Mmm, thank you. It might well be THE essential component of life.

Bluebell Books said...

did you ever think of writing a story for children?

check out short story slam week 6, find it from the page on top of the blog.

make one, inspire us or get inspired by others.

poetry or a story in poetic form is welcome.

Lolamouse said...

When we don't try to deny death, we are able to see the beauty in all stages of life, even the final ones. Lovely and thought provoking poem, Dave.

Dave King said...

Bluebell Books
I did try my hand... may well do so again. Thanks for the invitation. Will have a think.

Lolamouse
I absolutely agree. Thanks for the thought.

jabblog said...

What a clever poem - well done:-)
The stages of decay in plant matter are far more attractive than in flesh (to me, anyway)

Dave King said...

jabblog
Yes you are right, though I'm not sure I've ever thought about it that way before. Thanks for responding. Apologies for my tardiness in replying.