Sweet bird-of-paradise


       more than meets the eye
stiff erect leathery leaves
       bluish green with perhaps
a red midrib
       held aloft on a long petiole

the orange and blue flowers
       have two erect pointed petals
and five stamens :
       the flower bract is shaped
like a boat
       with green and red borders
—it bears fruit capsules
       containing numerous seeds

An angel masquerading
       as exotic flora
its role is to induce calm
       in the eye of the beholder
so much effortless beauty
       rising out of the earth
its silence announces
       that all will be well and that
wherever it is present
       there will be peace and love

John Lyons


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