Saturday, September 18, 2010

Artemisa: Gray Symbol



Artemisia gray
That aged silver flower
Reminds me of care

I like it when it grows tiny marbles at its fingertips. And clumps together silver-gray on silver-gray.
It’s a background plant. The blossoms, even when they finally come, in September, never really open. You can’t say what color they are. Since they don’t open, they are the same color as the rest of the plant. A silver gray so thick and uniform you think you can scrape it off with your thumbnail.
They stand up (at least at the start). They last all summer. They spread. They fall over in the wind, they collapse, they lie on the ground until you gather them up and tie them around a stake. When you’re just about ready to give up on them, you see the upward ends of the stems have produced a texture. Is this what these guys call flowering?
But they make a statement. They get fuzzy and take up space. They gentle the eye.
They stand out by a kind of uniformity, a plainness. They are the garden’s backup singers. They stand behind, between, the dark pink roses. They whisper, making the brighter colors speak up.
We think about them when other voices go quiet. They endure, making small claims on our attention. They won’t go away, unless we make them. Why would we ever do that?