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Nature Poem & Tiny Begonias


I am concerned. I am concerned that every time a nature poem is penned, somewhere a mountain gets a little bit smaller, a little more hunched over. I am concerned about all of those odes, to some tree or rare bird, or worse, a bird that isn’t rare at all, an everyday bird – banal bird, if you will. I’m not stupid. I understand that none of these poems are really about hills and such, but about ships missed and slim, newly betrothed beardy-bards with respiratory infections, etc. – that the rivers and flowers are proxies to ‘the human condition’, etc. but I am concerned that all this passionate penning inspires more and more people every day to express themselves.

I am concerned that if this scourge is permitted to continue, unchecked, it will diminish the landscape to the point where we won’t see anything, only feel around blindly for a large thick, crudely daubed canvas: the backdrop of our lives.


From my bed I can see tiny leaves pushing out from the stem of a begonia on the windowsill. Last night there were a few small swellings and this morning there are whole tiny begonias. They have pushed through the smooth skin of the plant like blind pimples that, when squeezed, secrete a miniature replica of the person bearing the blemish. This isn’t a particularly nice way to consider something that I am really quite happy about but there is an element of horror in witnessing a thing squeeze itself out of another thing. I saw a horse being born once in the very early morning and my feeling about it was not dissimilar. The thin tiny horse was bluish when it fell out onto the grass and glistening in the morning light. It walked almost instantly.

Chloë Reid is a writer and artist based between Glasgow and Cape Town. She received the Glasgow Sculpture Studios Graduate Fellowship in 2017. In 2018 she curated the exhibition To see this story better, close your eyes... at the Reid Gallery.

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