Saturday, August 18, 2012

Naming The Orchid

Naming The Orchid

By Justine Camacho-Tajonera

We agree that there is a universal dead language
that we use for naming living things.
I tell you of my regret that I do not know
the names of our island trees.
You shrug and tell me of your complete immersion
in only one flower and for that one elegant species
there are a thousand specific epithets.
You are looking for only one,
the one that you can call your own.
I imagine days and nights of taxonomy,
of careful handwritten notes in journals,
of phone calls to distant,
condescending scientists.
Love could be that slow cultivation,
the gradual uncovering of that one
uncommon color or texture
that no one has ever seen before.

For Raab

The illustration is from "The Home and School Reference Work, Volume I" by The Home and School Education Society, H. M. Dixon, President and Managing Editor. The book was published in 1917 by The Home and School Education Society.


Unknown said...


Unknown said...

J'adore!!! waiting for your book

Unknown said...


raab bustamante said...

Raab Bustamante here- I love your poem!!

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