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Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)

Angiosperms


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,
Amborella trichopoda.
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.

Submitted: Saturday, September 08, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

The rapid rise and diversification of
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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  • Stevie Taite (11/27/2012 3:40:00 PM)

    It's about time we gave the evolution of plants a bit more if a look in! Kind of the plant version of the croc? (Report) Reply

  • Danny Draper (9/10/2012 9:09:00 AM)

    A brilliant poem of coevolution and the intricate beauty that is natural history with fragments of that history holding steadfast against the tsunami of change despite being obsolete and relict, but what treasure tells of past practices to deal with the world as it was, as will future configurations of life to deal with the world and it's future environments. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (9/9/2012 11:33:00 PM)

    It seems that now from fauna, you have shifted your interest to flora! ! Were you a student of Botany or Zoology? ? Nevertheless, both are safe in your dexterous hands! ! Great write! (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (9/9/2012 8:52:00 AM)

    Paints a picture of a very colorful and complex evolving world - interesting and informative write. (Report) Reply

  • Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (9/8/2012 8:46:00 PM)

    angiosperms or the flowering plants have the abominable mystery, is that the reason, the mankind have annihilated the flora? very interesting poem on angiosperms! well written, Diane! (Report) Reply

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