Poem: The Rainbow Queens

Updated on March 29, 2018
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The Birds of Paradise

For the longest time, I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that there's a California plant that's called a bird, Birds of Paradise. But eventually I got it, and I understood why they were called Birds of Paradise. It seems that everywhere they are it's a paradise of beauty. The plants grow in tropical climates, and they reflect their picturesque and sunny surroundings. Some Birds of Paradise are all white, while others are white, orange, yellow and with a hint of bluish purple. They pop out of the green succulent gardens. They often extend into the middle of the sidewalk where they seem to greet you. Besides the crows getting my attention every morning in California, the Birds of Paradise seem to say hello like they are human, and I often acknowledge them back with a smile. Here's my tribute to these magnificent perennials with a poem.

Poem: The Rainbow Queens

I walk along De La Vina Street

Under the warm California sun

And there the queens are:

Extraordinary

Rainbow birds in paradise

Extending onto the sidewalk

To greet me, it seems,

Only me.


I want to stop and kneel.

I want to hug your plumes.

But I pull back.

Queens are never touched.

They are to be admired from afar.


I walk along De La Vina Street

Past my favorite pizza shop,

Past the dentist

That does my root canals.

There are more,

More colorful queens,

White, yellow and orange

Among the tall, spiraling palms,

Among the succulents

That decorate people's homes.


I take out the camera phone

And click their pictures.

They pose for me.

They speak in tongues.

They spring from

Fountains of hope,

Nourished by underground wells.

Spirits that grow with tolerance,

Plants that spread forgiveness

And goodwill.


I walk down De La Vina Street

In the music of the day,

Under the California sun.

The Rainbow Queens.

The tropicals of love.

They seem to speak to me.

Mark Tulin reads The Rainbow Queens.

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      • Mark Tulin profile image
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        Mark Tulin 12 days ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thank you, Larry for stopping by.

      • Larry Fish profile image

        Larry W Fish 12 days ago from Raleigh

        An interesting poem, Mark. You did a good job expressing your feelings as you walked along.

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 3 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks, Dora. I'm glad you had a nice walk. It's my favorite street.

      • CaribTales profile image

        Dora Weithers 3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Beautiful tribute to beautiful objects. I had an enjoyable walk along the route with you.

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 3 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks, John. It was the first street I walked on when I moved to California.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Mark, the bird of paradise is a lovely plant and Ir poem was a fitting tribute. I also enjoyed the strol down De La Vina Street.

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 3 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Cool. I'm glad you enjoyed the stroll, Ruby.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

        This is beautiful! I strolled with you down the lane and enjoyed the scenery. BTW I have a plant ( artificial ) in my living room.

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 3 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks Lisa. It's good to know that I added something to the poem with my reading.

      • Lisawilliamsj profile image

        Lisa Chronister 3 weeks ago from Florida

        I really enjoyed this poem when I read it, but when I watched as you read it, it became something more. It is beautiful!

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