STING IN THE TALE?

OIL ON CANVAS, 2008

We hoped to find

Some Sign of Greater Earthly Paradise

Advertising its hoarding

Of radiant energy

By lightning up the darkness

In extravagant plumage

Spread in superior posture.


Crowing crowning glory

Above the call of humility

Unaware of what brings it here

Without foundation for its sovereignty

But eager nonetheless

To stake its claim

With no trace of shame

For what it’s hard done by

In peerless condescension


But here

What lesser claim is this?

Rooted in the waste ground

Spraying ferny foliage

In misty dressing.


Cascading sight unsound

Arching its backbones

In loopy skeins

Of sky blue flowering

Ravelling and unravelling

What brought this presence here

Across the pond?


Stealing through darkest space

In unseen conduits

To come to rest in restless scenes

Of set aside disturbance

Receptive to weedy aliens.


Anthers proudly at the ready

Outreaching antennae

Keeping their powder dry

To coat the trails of bees

Attracted to the basins

Of floral satellite dishes

Receptive to Sky.


What lesser claim to fame can be

What brings back down to Earth

Recalling more illustrious past

Into resonant cavities

Opening and closing in flowing relay

Of life through death to seed

All in the unbecoming name

Of scorpion weed

[A commentary on Grandeur and Humility, inspired by Scorpion Weed and Greater Bird of Paradise.]

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