Tag Archives: decay

..”the centre cannot hold”…..with apologies to W.B. Yeats

The towering American Agave that I have been watching as I drive past it as I leave and return to my home has altered quite suddenly.
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I first noticed the change at its base over the weekend when the weather was too wet to stop and take a photograph.
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The phrase from Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming” was instantly in my mind “the centre cannot hold”…..but from when I wonder? I wrestled with analysing this poem perhaps in High School or perhaps University but despite my poor memory about timing, the phrase was instantly there and it seemed so fitting to describe what I could see.

Its lengthy flower head has withstood a myriad of howling north westerly winds in this changeable and frustrating summer we are experiencing. Despite the force of the winds the flower head continues to move from yellow toning flowers high above to now more finger-like growths which I presume are the seed pods.
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But today I have taken these photographs to show how “the centre cannot hold” for much longer. The once tough, rubbery, wide, strong leaves have softened and droop noticeably now.
Up close there is more evidence of its succulent heritage and there are places where the gelatinous contents within the leaves are becoming obvious.
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The wind today was a brisk and chilly southerly so the Agave had more shelter but to muddle Yeats’s work further “things fall apart” and I think that has begun as nature takes its course.