Tarnished and Dry

thistlebugs

thistledown1

thistlegrass2

In a patch of baked earth
At the crumbled cliff’s brink,
Where the parching of August
Has cracked a long chink,

Against the blue void
Of still sea and sky
Stands single a thistle,
Tall, tarnished, and dry.

Frayed leaves, spotted brown,
Head hoary and torn,
Was ever a weed
Upon earth so forlorn,

So solemnly gazed on
By the sun in his sheen
That prints in long shadow
Its raggedness lean?

From the sky comes no laughter,
From earth not a moan.
Erect stands the thistle,
Its seeds abroad blown.
~Robert Laurence Binyon –“The Thistle”

 

thistle8215

 

thistlesunset

 

There isn’t much that thrives in a dry summer like this other than mounds of blackberry bushes and scattered clusters of thistle.  They both are defended by thorns to keep them from being eaten by all but the most persistent and hungry grazing animals.

I admire and recognize such tenacity, knowing I too have held tightly to my own defenses to keep from being swallowed up. I approach these weeds with respect for the scars they can leave behind – their roots go deep, their seeds travel far.

We coexist because we must.

How else would beauty come from our bleeding wounds?

 

thistle816

 

3 thoughts on “Tarnished and Dry

  1. I like the question you pose at the end, Emily. Your insights, vision and alert sensitivity always have such a soothing effect. My mind jumped ahead to Charlottesville because it is the most recent madness that we are once again discussing, affixing blame and seeking answers. The pain and suffering, carnage and irrational violence that continue to inflict those bleeding wounds seems unending. Centuries, decades old seething hatreds and inability to accept differences among ‘the other’ as just one starting point…. Toppling centuries-old statues is not going to solve our problems. That is but a mere dramatic cosmetic fix, a meaningless show that solves nothing. Certainly it will not effect changes in hearts and minds that subsist on hatred and violence to find solutions for real or perceived wrongs.

    Like

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