Casey FitzSimons has poetry in Fresh Hot Bread, flashquake, and Defenestration, and forthcoming in The Stray Branch and Instant City. She taught art in San Francisco for many years, published her studio drawing manual, Serious Drawing, with Prentice Hall, and reviewed many exhibitions for Artweek.
Day Without Horizon
I look down, navigating disturbed earth
studded with non-native plants brought here
by immigrants homesick for blue flowers,
unwilling to do without mustard plasters.
Now they are fast-growing super-seeders
tending to monoculture, predator-free.
No use to native animals or insects,
interlopers in a closed accord
of symbiosis, prosperity, and death,
identified by committee for extermination
line-item–funded by the city. This
habitat under purge will not return
to equilibrium predating Europeans
who packed their seeds as hedge against their own
fear of failure to adapt, their own cultural
entropy, even with the work of zealous
volunteers whose mission goes unchallenged.
Who fights for iceplant against the stalwarts of futility?
Had I Not Seen
Had I not seen the darker green spot
appear on the leaf, at first indistinct,
becoming more definite and shrinking,
gaining resolution, I would not
have realized that raindrops, as they fall
in dim sun, cast shadows warning that impact
is imminent. But other things attract
me, so I should have noticed. After all,
a leaf casts its shadow on one beneath it
or sends it running down to shade its own ground,
drape its own stem, its sine qua non,
to reassert that dominion that claims it.
In perfect bull’s-eye, they come together.
Drop and shadow merge, lay claim to each other.