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Poem: The Rainbow Queens


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.


Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on April 04, 2020:

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

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 04, 2020:


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 (author) from Palm Springs, California on March 11, 2019:

Than you, Miebakagh57, for your gracious comment.

Miebakagh57 on March 11, 2019:

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 (author) from Palm Springs, California on December 14, 2018:

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

Sanaa Najim from Morocco on December 14, 2018:

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 (author) from Palm Springs, California on July 16, 2018:

Thanks, Tamara.

Tamara Yancosky from Uninhabited Regions on July 16, 2018:


This is a beautiful poem with lovely imagery!


Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on June 30, 2018:

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.

Heather Johnson from California on June 30, 2018:

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 (author) from Palm Springs, California on May 08, 2018:

Much appreciated, manatita44

manatita44 from london on May 07, 2018:

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 (author) from Palm Springs, California on April 12, 2018:

Thank you, Larry for stopping by.

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 12, 2018:

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

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on March 30, 2018:

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

CaribTales on March 30, 2018:

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

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on March 29, 2018:

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

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on March 29, 2018:

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 (author) from Palm Springs, California on March 29, 2018:

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

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 29, 2018:

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 (author) from Palm Springs, California on March 29, 2018:

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

Lisa Chronister from Florida on March 29, 2018:

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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