( Copy change of Thesaurus by Billy Collins)
Dear Billy Collins
what is a flower other than a fan
of the rising sun on a summer morning?
when the air is quiet
and the grass beats on bongos
to awaken all who dare to listen.
I write for you Weeping Willows
and hope you dare to listen too.
It could be the strain of a prehistoric oak
that sprouted from the fertile land, rising up
on its skeleton branches to show off its leaves,
or some boat in a sea who has mutated into a hurricane
It means autumn, but it is just a time
where saplings congregate with their companions,
a secluded meadow where hundreds of warm handshakes
are always being exchanged,
pasture, plain, meadow, forest, veldt, and groves,
all sharing the same gusts of wind and rays;
slender, spindly, fragile, lean, lanky, and delicate
all watching a child or showering the ground
free, growing, sprouts, flourishing and mobile
bending and warping in tiers for new sets of eyes.
Here maple is next to ivy and birch close
to sibling, separated by fine rings of wisdom.
and every tribe has its seasonal kin, the one
who waited the longest to be here:
eucalyptus, sycamore, or some eleven
syllable unpronounceable synonym for a pine tree.
Even the park rangers have to squint at their nameplates.
I can see my own flora out in the back garden.
I rarely visit it, because I know there is no
such thing as an eternal blossom and because I get blue
around newly bloomed buds who always are picturesque,
framing benches with clinquant drops of dew
while blades of grass create a susurrus to set the scene.
I would rather chimerical branches, away
from the frost and the petrifying chill,
wandering the planes where they sometimes entwine
amity with a whole new breed.
Surely, you have seen the synthesis of two unlike characters
next to each other on the same key in the harmony,
a small sanctuary where billet-doux’s like these,
between perfect strangers, can be exchanged.