deepundergroundpoetry.com

Diurnal

 

Do you think houseplants get confused?
We know that trees sleep. When the sun sets,
So do their leaves,
Their slumber, shadowy,
Breathe out just like us---CO2
For during the daytime, the trees work hard:
Take in carbon, water, sunlight,
And breathe out oxygen.
When they go to sleep, the leaves get to rest, and to enjoy the passive respiration--in goes the oxygen, out goes the carbon.
But a houseplant is subject to more, inconsistent, conditions...
My alyssum
Sat at the corner of my desk
Soaks up light all day
But, in the evening,
Though the sun is set and asleep,
The desk lamp
Comes on,
And drenches the little plant
In a warm light
That mimics the color of a pale sunrise--
Does the plant know that the sun has set?
Does it now believe that the sun is a fickle creature, that comes on and goes out when it pleases?
Surely the whisperings of its ancestors confuse it further---
The little flower knows that the sun rises and that it sets,
And that in warmth, there is growth,
And you must grow as much as you can before the cold comes.
And that you must soak up the light, leaning in and reaching out to touch it,
To grasp the energy...
But now it is confused. I may turn off the lamp, and the little plant is plunged into shadow. Where did the sun go?
And after an hour I may come back,
And on comes the sun again. Surely the little plant must be very upset.
Up comes the sun! Then gone. Wake up little plant! Grow grow grow! The sun is risen! And stop! Go to bed. Sleepytime. The sun has extinguished itself for another night. But wait......and back up again! Growtime!
It must be obnoxious to have a sun so inconsistent. You can't even get a good night's sleep!
Which is why, I think, for the little plant's sanity {and mine, honestly} when the sun goes down, I will then turn the lamp on, and then turn it off at a set time each night before I go to bed, as to not confuse the little plant. True, it is getting light even after the real sun goes down, but the little plant will simply have to make do with longer sunlight hours. I hope it can forgive me for the sun-fiddling I did in my past.
Written by asbr808 (Anthony R)
Published
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