On a warm summer afternoon
Light clouds drifting through the
Blue, expansive, desert sky
I sit quietly and watch Nature
Buzzing and chirping
Pine needles stirring
Tiny lizards skittering across sun-baked stone.
An electric green blur of little wings
Whirrs past my nose
Then launches straight up into the air
Higher and higher, till it
Plunges straight down below the tree line.
It darts back up and over to a long, flowering stalk
Poking a needle beak into the tufts of gold at the peak
Utterly still there, but for the wings,
And then he's off again, disappearing into the heat.
A light breeze lifts a few loose hairs from my face
Christmas lights sway above my head
Long since unplugged
Forest green plastic dangling clear droplets.
Lavender stalks cup their palms and
Softly blow their fragrance at me
The hummingbird returns
Wings beating madly
Above my head
Touching its bitty beak
To the hanging lights.
It flits to one teardrop of glass
Scentless and not at all
There is no nectar there for you!
How could this creature be so confused?
The hummingbird tries
To extract some kind of
From this swinging tangle
Of manufactured beauty
Not even performing its temporary function.
How can this little being
Tiniest heart beating under neon feathered breast
Not know the difference between
This braided-wire mirage
And the throbbing, textured, fragrant magnificence
Of a real flower, alive?
But here it remains,
Buzzing from one glass droplet to another
Of extracting nectar
From this empty, mute artifice.
How like him we are.
Ever expending our energy
In front of one plastic joy after another
Mistaking the barren illusion for
The effulgence of Truth
And never tasting
The radiant ambrosia
The operatic chorus
Though it is all around us
With everlasting Life.