White orchid

Japanese watercolour,
She towers above the cacti;
A delicate, white geisha
In the soft shadows
Of bashful buds.
Graceful and rare,
Full of life unfolding,
The mystery
Of every second,
In every frond unfurling.

Shady leaves,
Cool and broad,
Green waves paused.

Slender green stems
Climb to the light,
That tall is nothing to hold onto.

Pure white petals,
Pink with pollen powder-paint,
Sprinkled by the perfect artist.

Thirsty little dragon mouths open
Sucking sunfire.

And in her beauty
Is her death:
A whitewash of wilting petals,
Drooping like wet skirts;
See-through crispy curls
Limping out of the limelight,
Graciously bowing out to the
New small stars.

Lady-like, in flower form,
Kuan Yin,
Consort of compassion,
Sings of the beloved.

She is a slip of a kiss
By a rain-soaked window pane;
A jasmine goddess,
An elegant saint;
In fragile purity,
So certain in her choice.

Lyndi Smith, January 2012

I wrote this poem about a beautiful white orchid in Jan and Maria’s house in Copenhagen. The character of the orchid reminded me of another dear friend Verity Pabla.