hundreds + thousands

     Diana Lynn



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poetry in the landscape / writing on leaves / numbered leaves /  words on leaves / words and landscape/ numbering  every leaf on a tree /
                                                                                                                                                                  surrey art gallery bc canada
hundreds + thousands       project        statement        journal 1   2   3        poetry        bibliography        visitor comments
hundreds + thousands       project        statement        journal 1   2   3        poetry        bibliography        visitor comments
April 19th.

I’ve begun the phrases. In the wet woods by the stream, on a translucent vine maple leaf: “green rain."  On an osier dogwood: “Did you see?”  My imagination inflates them, the words seem blatant, enormous, obtrusive as flashing neon lights.  It feels transgressive, almost illegal, as if I’m writing in a library book, scrawling graffiti in a public place.

Reality check: the words so small, written cautiously
on the leaf, scarcely noticeable, something to find by accident,
if found at all. Something there, seen but unseen.

I write one more line on a salmonberry leaf, then stop. The woodland leaves are still so fresh that they’ll bruise if I handle them, they’re all sap and succulence, newborn.

May 16th.  The pond.

There’s an ornamental pond in the gardens.  I hang over the railings, hoping to see something. There’s Elodea, algae.
Dead leaves. Melge.  There’s got to be tadpoles.  Nothing. 
Water striders, a diving beetle. Then I see a tadpole. I knew it, there had to be tadpoles.  Then two more. Four. Five, six, seven.
I go over to the low bank on the sunny side. Stuck on the pondweed like round fruit are dozens of tadpoles. I count a hundred in two square yards.

I like it here. The more you look, the more you see. A clutching motion in the mud: a caddisfly larva in its tiny sand tube. 

Live slivers of carrot, all less than 2 centimeters long.
A dozen. Two dozen. Three.  Brand new goldfish, nervous, bunching, so small they’d all be comfortable in a cup.

Red-osier dogwood petals float on the water.