Whatever tendril, bract, or leaf

The sun or clippers labor

To place in insolent relief

Against its cringing neighbor;


Whatever curling fruit or stalk 

Is accidentally shaded,

No amount of paucity or bulk

Can be pruned or traded


In exchange for birds of paradise,

Which flame and flower

Randomly as dice

In out exalted bower:


Like birds, they seem 

To rise without a trace

Of stratagem or scheme

In the least expected place,


Like hummingbirds who vector 

Between the waving plants,

Their quest for godlike nectar

Coiled in human chance,


Deities whose spiral grace is

Deep inside their DNA,

Their idea of perfect places

Too sub rosa to display.


December 23rd, 2002


Redone August 16th, 2003