Poem by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
Illustration by Kiki Smith
Working backward in sleep, the
last thing you numbed to is what
What if that image
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Fairies begin their day by coming together a moment and sharing joy.
They love the feeling, which dew on the leaves draws from grass, lilacs and the response of meadow and flowers to the dawn.
Diminutive green sylphs now run in the grass, whose growth seems intimately associated with theirs, a single line of concentration.
They talk to themselves, constantly repeating, with an intensity causing their etheric doubles, grass, to vibrate as they pass, vivifying growth.
To rabbits and young children they’re visible, but I see points of light, tiny clouds of color and gleams of movement.
The lawn is covered with these flashes.
In low alyssums along a border, one exquisite, tiny being plays around stems, passing in and out of each bud.
She’s happy and feels much affection for the plants, which she regards as her own body.
The material of her actual body is loosely knit as steam or a colored gas, bright apple-green or yellow, and is very close to emotion.
Tenderness for plants shows as rose; sympathy for their growth and adaptability as flashes of emerald.
When she feels joy, her body responds all-over with a desire to be somewhere or do something for plants.
Hers is not a world of surfaces--skin, husks, bark with definite edges and identities.
Trees appear as columns of light melting into surroundings where form is discerned, but is glowing, transparent, mingling like breath.
She tends to a plant by maintaining fusion between the plant’s form and life-vitality contained within.
She works as part of nature’s massed intelligence to express the involution of awareness or consciousness into a form.
And she includes vitality, because one element of form is action.
Sprouting, branching, leafing, blossoming, crumbling to humus are all form to a fairy.