7 days, poems & photography. Oct 4

 

Red growth

I’m drawn to new growth lubricated

by our sun peering between the trees,

by some archaic biological function

red alerts vision, lorikeets are already

breaching the ears asymmetrically

high in the flowering bloodwoods

and close to the ground, snacking

on Callistemons in our garden. I retreat,

quickly, climb to retrieve my machine.

I have a problem.

Sketching on the shores of Lake Como using pencil and a camera lucida, Henry Fox Talbot, ‘found that the faithless pencil had only left traces on the paper melancholy to behold.’ October 1833, in The Pencil of Nature.

The Camera Lucida (Latin meaning lighted room ) was invented in 1806. Used as an aid for drawing perspective accurately, it required a certain amount of drawing skill. By looking through a hole cantered above a prism, the operator saw the subject projected on the drawing paper below.

‘The only nature we know is a realm reconfigured as our tools construe it, even to the point of seeming so independent of us that it emerges as a wonderful other, which we believe we can touch only if we release ourselves from all devices.’ David Rothenberg, Hand’s End: Technology and the Limits of Nature, University of California Press, 1994, p225.