The Immaculate

The back lawn of a rustic lodge
In the distance, across an inlet
Late-summer peaks bare of snow
In the foreground
A long emerald hedge
Immaculately groomed

A closer view of the hedge
Almost impossibly green
The work of the pruner now apparent
Mostly close and orderly
But with the effect of being
Not so immaculately conceived

Laurel leaves
Deep-hued and lush
Well-formed and healthy
Rounded, smooth edges
Clear-veined and near-translucent
In golden-hour sunlight
But zooming slowly reveals
Leaf-cutter damage
An overhanging hemlock
Drops blots of sap
Dark brown orbs form
Round adjoining spots
A Venn diagram of premature decay
If you touched the blemish
The orbs would drop free
Like die-cut confetti

The hedge
As though twilight
Last year’s trimmings hang
From a branching fork
Three perfect leaves
On a severed twig
No trace of green
But sere, oh so sere
Remnants of a slashing blade
Perfectly pruned and preserved

You could reach inside
If you wanted to
Reach in and lift them out
Hold them in the fading light
See the veins in relief
Richer in brown than in green
Run your fingers over them
A dry leatherness
Take them in your hand
Examine them

You could crush them if you wished
Let the fragments go
You could put them back, too
Save them for another season
Another day of extrospection

You could leave them there
And hope they just go away

You could pretend they don’t even exist

Crane out to the establishing shot
The back lawn of a rustic lodge
A long emerald hedge
With all the appearance
Of the immaculate

About Greg Wright

I have worn many hats as a writer and editor over the years. Unlike my scholarly and journalistic work from the "old days" at Hollywood Jesus, Past the Popcorn, or SeaTac Blog, the writing here is of a more overtly personal and spiritual nature. I hope it provokes you as much as it provokes me.
This entry was posted in Other, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Immaculate

  1. John Prince says:

    adjective: sear; adjective: sere

    (especially of vegetation) dry or withered.
    “small green vineyards encircled by vast sear fields”

    Had to look that one up.
    Interesting descriptive direction. I can’t wait to see the movie.

    • Greg Wright says:

      For some reason this piece just called for the screenplay motif. The closing shot of Ridley Scott’s The Duellists (1979, I think) has always fascinated me — the way the camera pushes in to show you details, and then pulls back to bring you back to where you started… and yet you can no longer think of the shot in the same way. Finally worked that effect into a poem.

  2. John Prince says:

    What would the soundtrack be?

  3. Love the line and image of:
    A Venn diagram of premature decay

    Greg, do you know Nima Kian’s poetry? He sometimes uses screenplay framing for his poems. You’ve done this one beautifully, and though I haven’t seen The Duellists, your treatment here has the effect you mentioned of being unable to see the scene in quite the same way again. And, of course, your wit comes through.

    • Greg Wright says:

      Hey, Jill. No, I’m not familiar with Kian. I’ll have to look that up. Thanks for the tip!

      And thanks for the feedback!

  4. Mike Furches says:

    Thank you Greg, I totally get it, and I like the film script concept. I have to remember the shot that can be, the one that is intended. Blessings my friend.

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