Dandelion Finesse

Take a reflective and retrospective stroll
through a Sacramento neighborhood, 2013.
Greet first the timid gibbous moon,
ducking behind a March mist.
Let your eyes saccade from star to star, 
from hunter’s belt to big dipper.
Drift down to the astigmatic auras of amber street lamps, 
to the powerlines and pipes and drains
and all the intricate gadgetry above and below ground 
that brews the city’s bustle.
Finally, land your gaze on a dandelion:
the unwelcome immigrant to suburban lawns,
now donning its gossamer apparel.
In delirious exploration, 
pluck the flower (regret that later),
twirl it under the orange electric light—
that subdued light that stifles chromatic potential.

Bring it inside your studio,
your new lab lit by white fluorescence.
Marvel at this organic engine, this botanical machine,
this model that nature manufactures
simply because she can.
Be dazzled by the architectural ingenuity:
a geodesic dome of sublime symmetry.
Be frustrated by your lack of microscope,
by the limits of human vision.
Strain that vision to examine the seeds,
each one delicately poised on the rounded floor
with a dancer’s finesse:
firm enough to conquer gravity,
loose enough to catch a breeze.

Then contemplate the irony, the conceit
of Metaphor flowing in this direction:
from the narrowly human to the natural,
from the technological to the biological,
from imitation to original.
Discover, instead, a world of astral street lamps,
and apian-esque infrastructure,
and dancers with dandelion finesse.


Between series of posts on vertiginous questions, I am including “respites” that are less heavy philosophically, and more creative and literary: pieces like poems, aphorisms, personal narratives, and fictional short stories, which may or may not be connected to the questions. There will still be some philosophy, of course: it is inextricable from my nature. Enjoy!

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Published by Eric Cates

Inquire, love, create: the mantra of my existence.

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