ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,


refugium (ri 'fyoo jee əm), noun.
An area of relatively unaltered climate that is inhabited by plants and animals during a period of continental climatic change (as a glaciation) and remains as a center of relict forms from which a new dispersion and speciation may take place after climatic readjustment.

Etymology:  from Latin, refuge.

In aquarium-speak, a refugium is a secondary tank - often hidden from view - that assists with the complexities of biological filtration.  My friend has a reef tank, and despite all the fascinating activity in the main tank, apparently the real action is in the refugium.


My head is full of tired butterflies
And settled dust, stirred in early pleasures,
And thick with delayed action.

Before, I played in the woods,
The sandpit, the overgrown verges,
Each afternoon I picked out the barbs of the day's voices
And replaced them with burrs and seeds,
Caught in the laces of soon-abandoned shoes
As I hardened my soles against stones
That warmed in the sun and hummed my name.

Together, we were a callus, a membrane,
We let in the world and kept out the drain of artifice,
Expectation, disappointment.
We were a refugium of grasses, a keeper of the sun's result.
I was not just me, not just a thing of thought:
I was the trees raised up, the water gone down,
The warmth that bled everywhere.

It's nowhere now,
Rubbed away and replaced with boxes,
and paths that are not my own:
Sandpit gone, verges mown,
Woods cut back.
Remnants fly lonely in my head,
Delicate and susceptible,
Trimmed and static.

But not yet lost,
Rocks store memories like heat in my hands,
Tables turned, I must be what I was:
A pocket of the world, a seeder of shoelaces,
A barefoot print in the mud,
Happy to have passed through such a day.
Tags: latin, noun, r, theme: poems, wordsmith: ersatz_read

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