Bladderpod, House Leek, Prickly Thrift, Dragonhead

by Lauren Camp

I came to the garden to learn a particular name.
Safe harbor the ways water chuckled,
inflating like invisible diamonds.
I came to hear the running
of a small bird. Enough, even
that single gibbering prayer.
Then, the light against pine bark.
I took photos of underneath
because I wanted to see what slipped
between rocks. The mounds and drifts,
the seeds proud to empty. Safe,
next year’s dispatch. I could not think more
than silver leaf curl and fritillary cloud,
dappled beginnings. All this landscape
unlike and at the same time exactly
feeling the world. All the plurals and
soft spells growing roots in each other.
When the weather rocked, I listened
to the ordinary and saw it overflow.

Lauren Camp is the Poet Laureate of New Mexico and author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press), finalist for a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award and Southwest Book Design Award. An emeritus fellow of the Black Earth Institute, she has received support from Storyknife Writers Retreat and Denver Botanic Gardens. She was Astronomer in Residence at Grand Canyon National Park in 2022.

Image: Young-Kyung Kim

Image description: Green-blue house leeks with red-tipped edges.