Strange Flowers

Out of peerless, empty skies they come:
stiff-winged bees, hot with lust,
taking aim at monolithic trees,
driving at the silent, sunlit heights.
Surreal the strike, the insect stab,
silver into silver, slipping deep,
shocking one womb, then another.
Each shudders, shakes its sleep
and quickens into incandescent flower,
showering the sky with orange outrageous blooms,
each blossom rich with melting life.

Even as we watch,
flower, stalk and all
soften into great grey petals
that spread and fall,
and spread again and fall,
and make the very garden sick.

In this same season,
other unexpected flowers:
flags, everywhere,
now nod from stems of wood,
sprouting in surprising spots –
up from porch, post-box and lawn;
down from roof and windowsill,
in hope it seems
to make the garden well.


But there’s another kind of flower
that blooms these end-of-summer days,
down in the blood of those that mourn.


Black as nightshade, rank as weeds,
its twisted sinews twine and grow,
remind us as they root along the heart
that what has come may never go,
may plunge and plunge again,
and dive forever
into all the bright geometries we build.


                                                            Abbott Ikeler

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