You Can’t Force the Life-Force to Pose for a Photo

Photo credit: 5998679. CC0/Public Domain.

I came here to Fiji,
took a taxi to my hotel
up in the hills, got settled,
and started on foot

back down toward the harbor.

Just outside the hotel,
in the back yard, so to speak–
a tropical jungle! Coconut palms
shining! Banana trees, papayas
growing wild, flowers I can’t name,
stretching down into a dark valley.

So fresh! So enlivening!
“I’ve got to send them
to my Friends back home!” 
Merrily, I snapped away!
All the way down the hills,
I stopped at every step to catch

some magnificent vista, 
or the life-force bursting forth 
in a huge stand of bird-of-paradise,
a royal palm, a field of cassava and yam,
bougainvillea along a wall.
“‘A shot of energy 
for everyone!” 
I happily mused,

having to stop, though,
after awhile, because
at this rate by the time
I got downtown it would
be dark! 

Later, back in my room,
I expectantly uploaded 
all the day’s pictures,
examining what I’d captured.

Some good ones 
of ships in the harbor,
a couple of seedy-looking restaurants,
a Hindu temple,
a house painted like a rainbow.

But the Nature shots?
Everything I took was there–
minus the burgeoning Life-Force,
minus the glory!
Nature can’t be caged, I realized.
It puts on a suit, to look tame.
It won’t pose naked.
It’s something of a trickster.

Starting to share the day’s catch,
I skipped most of the Nature ones.
“Trees,” I thought. “That’s all they’ll see.
And they’ll think, ‘I’ve seen trees,’
and won’t even look.

Some things work
in a photograph.
Maybe a great master,
a wizard of the art
can wake us up 
to Nature’s miracle
with his lens.

Me–I’ll show you
some interesting things,
Mostly, though, when it comes
to Nature, you’ll just
have to come here yourself.

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