Diane Hine (25 July 1956)
The dinosaurs of early Cretaceous
flashed color, pattern, sheen....yet
conifers, cycads and ferns layered
green on green on green....until
some nonconforming cone
with aspects shrunk or overblown,
‘bloomed' as something hitherto unknown,
an audacious rudimentary flower.
But this little mutant
was a portent of power.
Newfangled capacious leaves
packed more water-pumping veins.
Trees fed scented fruits and flowers
from sweet self-composting potpourris.
Ancestral figs, magnolias, planes,
coevolving birds, tiny mammals, bees,
all entangled in mutual gain.
Think the dinosaurs rapacious?
the flowering plants rampaged hellacious.
By late Cretaceous, Earth was awash
with ostentatious color.
And today, in New Caledonia,
fragment of old Gondwana,
cloud forests hide a pioneer shrub,
Minute pale ceraceous flowers,
tepals in place of petals and sepals,
primordial and tenacious.
Outcast from a forging split,
clue to Darwin's vast mystery.
A glimpse of one vivacious spring,
unsurpassed Cretaceous Spring.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
angiosperms is an "abominable mystery".
-Charles Darwin in a letter to J.D. Hooker
22 July 1879.
Comments about this poem (Angiosperms by Diane Hine )
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