Holiday In Hiding

Sparklers erupted in the tiny garden:  Independence Day bursting from late summer blooms. Like filaments of electricity, brought down to size, brought back to earth, the white stems arched with a delicate voltage.

Fireworks will wait for the night, when the moon agrees to recede for an hour or two. But these blooms hissed in the morning, within their effervescent lawn. They possessed no color, only a white heat that bleached their chlorophyll, melting it like pearls.

Pearls were used for decoration: loved so dearly that they were given names: La Peregrina, Hope, Canning, Cleopatra’s, Aphrodite’s. They were crushed into poultices, powders and pastes. They were also used for tears, believed to be drops from the moon that had fallen into the sea.

And now…the delicate pyrotechnics were rooted into the ground, with threads that flared with a comet’s passion and virtuosity. Silently, it burst and crackled. Yet its iridescent core was as cold as nacre. A confusion of temperature and color, they grew in barbed bouquets, content to spurn any grasp and to grow in beds as quiet as an oyster’s.

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5 responses to “Holiday In Hiding

  1. I love that the Japanese word for “fireworks” is “fire flowers”.

  2. They DO look just like fireworks!
    (What are they?)

  3. I wonder what fell from the sky whan I see white flowers like these. Spectacular. Loved it.

  4. What gorgeous plants. Like Laurie, I have to ask — what are they? I’ve never seen anything quite like them. I’m tempted to believe they grow only in your yard, but surely that isn’t true.

    Lovely flowers, lovely language: it’s a beautiful combination.

  5. Lurkertype – it’s wonderful how a study of etymology always seems to end up as a study of metaphor. Language is so clever!

    Laurie – don’t they? I believe these are called white bottle brush plants; we also have them in tree form, in which case the blooms are bright red. Hummingbirds seem to enjoy them prodigiously.

    Emmy – so spectacular that their silence seemed almost unnatural.

    shoreacres – not even in my yard. They only things I have growing in my backyard are two dumpsters (they were quite full yesterday, and in this heat, quite fragrant).

    I saw them on one of my morning walks, camera in hand, looking for a fit subject to draw. (This wasn’t one of them – too muddled – but a small essay was definitely needed.)

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