Updated: Jun 1, 2022
a hopeful green flame
On my drive home I notice the cracks in the asphalt and the grass poking up through it—the way the sunlight catches it, a hopeful green flame subversively devouring the long black tongue of civilization. It makes me smile. I feel a sip of heady giddiness and a gulp of warm hope.
Things will grow.
Things find a way to grow—even when I myself feel buried under layers of tar.
Even when the world itself feels buried under layers of tar.
And then I think about tar and how spelled backwards it’s rat; I’ve been dreaming of rats recently. Is that a clue? Feeling slightly ridiculous, I turn to the dictionary* to look up the word tar. It turns out there is a third meaning I’ve never heard of:
: to urge to action —usually used with on
gob, hearty, jack, jack-tar, mariner, navigator, sailor, salt, sea dog, seafarer, seaman, shipman swab, swabbie [slang]
// a book about the adventurous lives of tars, skippers, and pirates of the 18th century
History and Etymology
Middle English terr, tarr, from Old English teoru; akin to Old English trēow tree — more at TREE entry 1
Hearty! Navigator! TREE! Did you see that? TREE??? Tar from tree. Aaaaand, back around to the beginning. To the plants, the hope givers, the life givers.
To the plants, the hope givers, the life givers.
hopeful green flames
of grass navigating
the cracks in the
layers of heavy
rock sand bitumen.
you shoots of giddy
you blades of
hopeful green flames.
As always, thanks for reading!
*Dictionary entry taken from Merriam-Webster app.