Great Golden Knapweed

Centaurea macrocephela

My beginning is more
what you might call the end –
brown and whiskery, scales
of a snake, skin to be shed.
But fed enough sun and rain,
I crack like a free-range egg
and such gold breaks through…

Yellow tongue, licking the eye,
forks in my full-blown crown:
a fanfare of what you know
as petals, corolla. Listen close,
they’re the way I talk to bees,
how I share shreds of myself
with this beautiful, fallen world.

When I can’t bear the weight
of my own transfiguration,
I slither on the lawn, bronze
and babelish, whispering
about change – this, this, this
is how it’ll come. Let it be
great, let it be golden.

Posted: Thu 20 Dec, 2012