Sunday, May 31, 2020

Second poem from long ago, in memoriam Mhairi

By Tracy

Outside the glasshouse

I lose you for a moment and then catch sight:
crouched under twin camellias you approach
with the lens as one might
a timid animal,
allowing them soul.

I hold back: double pink, double red,
such richness best at a distance
or I am swamped
unless it’s instinct
tells me not to intrude

between you and the beauty
of your own response.
Starvation for months
and now this glut of colour
almost insulting in its abundance.

Not all at once
but bud by snub bud they unloose
their vivacity, raised cups
we’d slake our hurts at
if we could only trust

they’d last – longevity
and faithfulness, the books says
so you store an image
to paint them from
like tracing and retracing
a lover’s name.

                     — Tracy Ryan

All these photos were taken by Mhairi in the Cambridge Botanical Gardens, which gave me the central idea for the book Hothouse, from which the poems are themselves taken.

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