We Who Might Be Beautiful Together

Poem Tree WIP 2

Novemember 28, 2010

I took a walk to visit Poem Tree. The wind was blowing ribbons and poem cards this way and that. I leaned Spirit Stick against the bench and untangled some of the ribbons from the branches. They love to dance in the wind. They love to dance so much they forget themselves & get tied in knots. I know how that feels.

A woman came by and noticed Spirit Stick. This is beautiful, she said, where did you get it? On the street, I said. A piece here, a piece there. And things people give me.

Oh, you made it! she said. (this happens more than you might imagine… as though one could find this in a store)

It is beautiful. I think so too.

The things it’s made of don’t seem like much by themselves. A bit of colored ribbon, packing tape, aluminum can tabs, plastic rings… most of them found on the street. Things people have dropped, tossed aside. I pick them up from the sidewalk, from muddy puddles by the curb, on parking lots. I see something… a bit of color, something that shines in the sun, and I think — oh, this will be nice to add to Spirit Stick. I’ll find a place for it, and it will become part of Spirit Stick.

Like a line in a poem.

Most of them, not much in themselves, a few stand out. Like the bit of a bracelet I found on the subway platform. If you look for it, you can single it out. Oh, this is pretty–where did you find it?

But the pretty things are no more or less important than the aluminum tabs I took from cans in the trash, or bits of string from a muddy puddle. A pigeon feather. They all come together, become something else, something more. & yet are no less what they are in themselves.

Like the words of a poem. Like the assemblages I would begin to make when came to live at the Ox.

I think the best poems… the poems I love, are like that. And works of art. Made of things others have tossed aside. Thought useless. Walked past without seeing.


But in just this resides their beauty–which has no use we can readily assign. A poet, an artist… sees this lost, abandoned thing… ‘you are like me, he thinks, and I am like you … and she loves it for what it is, and gives it a home. With other homeless things.

A Spirit Stick.

A Poem Tree.

A poem.

An assemblage.

And they rejoice and dance in wind or rain. In the mind of someone passing by. We are beautiful together! they say…

… and they are… and so might we all, be beautiful together. Lost things waiting to be found


3 thoughts on “We Who Might Be Beautiful Together

  1. Enjoyed reading this thought provoking post.
    The line, ….”walked past without seeing”… really says it all. Its not that things are useless. Its that those others do not bother – to take the time – to look. To look beyond surface. To look beyond what is ‘plastic pretty’ and traditionally perfect.
    The concept of WABI SABI, finding beauty in the imperfect, the impermanent, the unfinished – is one that we westerners would do well do promote. Imperfect is not useless. unfinished is not useless. impermanent is not useless. But it profits it not, to think that way! imo Debi 🙂


  2. I think that’s our task in the world–seeing what other passs by, and expanding awareness and consciousness of our material surroundings through our art.

    I’ve long admired traditional Japanese sense of design–which touches on everything! Packaging, OMG, Egg cartons that are works of art! I was a potter for some time, so very much aware of WABI SABI sensibility.

    I love what you are capturing in your photography.

    Liked by 1 person

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