In search of rafflesia


I stand beneath the trail –
Slick with rain, laced with fern –
That leads to the domain
Of the flowering Queen,
Flaming, polka-dotted, putrid,
Larger than the skull of a man,
More beautiful and terrible
Than all blossoms.
Find her, and find
What you seek.

I am weary of waiting
For a flash of lightning
To part the sky and show the way
Or thunder to crash
Like the tread of elephants
Whose footprints remain
Imprinted upon the clayley soil
Showing their journey to water.
But I will not follow their tracks.

I need the wind that whips my face
Crying – look up at the blue
Of sky. The only thing bluer
Is the cobalt flash on the breast
Of the olive-backed sunbird.
I follow the emerald path
Of parakeet and the rustle
Of sparrow among the trees.
After the rain, the light
That dances tippy-toed
Across the satin tips of leaves.



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