Two plants grew on
opposite sides of a
desolate hill.
One was vigorous.
Thick-stemmed and large-leafed,
no element could prevent
its tireless growth.
The other was frail.
Its weak body shivered
in winter when frost
bit its body, and
quivered in summer when
sun blistered its skin.
A thousand near-deaths
brought the frail plant to autumn,
when a lone artist stumbled
on that desolate hill.
From plant to plant the
artist’s gaze leaped, for
only one subject did he require.
The vigorous plant
– a dazzling green, bursting with life –
considered itself
the image of art.
But the artist himself had known
a thousand near-deaths, and
sat with the frail
to give it the substance
that neither of them