Poem: The Rainbow Queens

Updated on March 29, 2018

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:


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 imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      4 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      When I moved to California, that was the first plant that caught my eye.

    • Brenda Arledge profile image


      4 months ago from Washington Court House


      Wonderful poem.

      I can say I have never seen the bird of paradise, but it sounds beautiful.

      You pics are quite lovely.

      Thsnks for sharing.

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      17 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Than you, Miebakagh57, for your gracious comment.

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      Hello, Mark, I like your peom.It is very natural, and flow sequently. It also has a spiritual touch because we cannot understand the flowers talk. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      20 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Sanaa, I loved your hummingbird story. We should all be like the hummingbird and do our part. Mark

    • The ENTITY profile image

      Sanaa Najim 

      20 months ago from Morocco

      Hi dear creative Mark Tulin

      Every time I read your poems ; I become so enthusiast to write more and more...

      I love this one so much . It's an incredible work from a great writer like you .

      The Story of the Hummingbird

      One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest - a huge woodlands was suddenly engulfed by a raging

      wild fire. Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the

      edge of a stream they stopped to watch the fire and they were feeling very discouraged and

      powerless. They were all bemoaning the destruction of their homes. Every one of them thought

      there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird.

      This particular hummingbird decided it would do something. It swooped into the stream and picked

      up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the

      stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals

      watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird with comments like, "Don't bother,

      it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you

      can't put out this fire."

      And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless

      and forlorn they looked. Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird in a

      mocking voice, "What do you think you are doing?" And the hummingbird, without wasting time or

      losing a beat, looked back and said, "I am doing what I can.



    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thanks, Tamara.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image


      2 years ago from Uninhabited Regions


      This is a beautiful poem with lovely imagery!


    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thanks, Heather. I love hummingbirds as well. They seem to love the bird of paradise, but they move so fast it's hard to take their pictures. Thanks for reading.

    • speaklove profile image

      Heather Johnson 

      2 years ago from California

      It was interesting to visualize the bird of paradise through your perspective. My late grandmother loved these flowers. She was in awe of a few pictures I took of a hummingbird hovering over these "rainbow queens." I wish I could share them with you here in the comments. Thanks for sharing your beautiful perspective.

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Much appreciated, manatita44

    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      You recite well. It brings your poem alive. I have written a few like this here in Kenya. Pure observations with my inimitable style. However, I'm a servant and I serve best through my given ability to awaken, inspire ... reach the Heart.

      I admire your closeness to God's Light. Higher blessings.

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thank you, Larry for stopping by.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      2 years ago from Raleigh

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

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years 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 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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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