life in the cracks

LIFE IN THE CRACKS! Common Knotweed (Polygonum arenastrum), an annual introduced from Europe,
and a weed of gardens and agricultural fields. Notice the back-and-forth rhythm of the alternating simple leaves,
articulated by lighter colored sheaths called ocrea. This many-jointed (poly + gonatum) feature is characteristic
of all members of the Buckwheat Family.

What I find remarkable while wandering about the frequently so inhospitable urban environments
we have created, is how at home plants sometimes appear even in the most minimal, austere situations.
It is inspiring, after all, to find a kind of miniature wildness always just around every
corner, always right under your feet.

Without in any way wishing to be sentimental here, the image of life in the cracks is a rather
revealing one. For the present culture is in many respects one which has paved over the
world of aesthetic feelings with the hard surface of anesthetic literal facts. How are Art and
Poetry to rurvive, to find their place to be? Seeing the little prostrate Knotweed gives one hope,
I think. I like to rehearse some of its other common names like pinkweed, or road-spread,
or stonegrass; their happy sounds remind me of Nature's tendency to assert, and re-assert,
again and again, its essential spirit of freedom through self-organization. It's a story I like to
listen to wherever my travels take me.

hydrangea Morning

(Photograph was made Saturday, the 6th of July, 2002)

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Photographs by Cliff Crego © 2002