“Plant of No Name”

I look at a plant for a class I take.
At first I see nothing but green.

All I see is green; yet I feel nothing
green growing within me.
There is only green on the outside,
shadow on the inside,
and space in between.

I look closer at the plant,
looking at it now not for a class I take,
looking out and looking in.
I look at nothing but I look within.

The sun is on its way down.
The plant as it faces me sits in shadow,
the opposite side sits lit up by the sun.
When the sun is on its way up,
the side facing me could be lit,
the side opposite me could be in shadow.

What is lit by morning may fade into shadow
by night.
What is obscured in shadow by night may be lit
by morning.

In the morning,
in those hours before the day begins
and before the people awake,
I am lit and obscured
by shadows in the twilight.

Perhaps wakefulness in the world works in this way:
The less people awake, the more wakefulness present,
the more wakeful those who do not sleep.

But this plant I look at
as I look in—
this plant is always wakeful,
though half of it is now in shadow,
though half of it is now in light.

Wakeful yet still,
this plant that does not blow in the wind
as much as its neighbors,
being wide and short in stature.

Wakeful yet still, and at rest,
but never dull, never colorless.
Brimming with color:
Now a soft and subtle brown at the base,
now a fierce and passionate red at the stem,
now an alive and sunlit green in the leaves.

To be brimming with color,
yet remain still;
To abound in light,
yet remain boundless in shadow;
To be unknown,
yet remain unique and one’s own:

That is to be
like this plant, the name of which
I do not know.

2 thoughts on ““Plant of No Name”

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