Issue Thirty-One - Winter 2018

Glass Breather

By Ellen Zhang

Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, the “Glass Flowers,” in the Harvard Museum of Nature History

Here is flickering flame, furrowed brow of
Blaschka as he pulls to tease crenate edges,
strictness and softening of pursuit.
He tends a garden with oxygen and propane
through leather bellows, the very sense of
eternity pulsates through minuscule masterpieces.

From phloem, spiles, settling between palms,
rise of autumn in the resinous air,
unmistakable wafting aroma of maple,
but for him, there is only paint moistening
in the colorless light—expectation of
seasonal cycles, the scent of turpentine.

Vibrancy undresses itself, enamels
annealing, adhering, absorbing to magnify
gossamer veinlets despite nervous strain.
Tips of brushes dusting like a breath
of life. Hardships expelling in the night air,
tangibility in evocation of the beautiful.

How knowing he is about roots, renewal,
growth: lineage of craftsmanship. The passing
of tradition, yet we are all ever apprentices to
the steady reminder: there is worthiness
in something so easy to ripple, shatter,
a touch makes all the difference.

Copyright 2018 Zhang