Corpse Flower, Luna Moth

Daniel Tobin

 
     The deep wine
of it risen tall above
           the buried
    corm,
     its ornamental
spathe furrowed thought-
           fully, to human
     warmth.
     O un-branched
inflouresence, amorpho-
           phalos, misshapen
        swelling,
     with its allure
of rotting flesh
           for the scarabs
     to follow,
     hollow, to the sun-lit
trove, as though all
           dark were light
     unbidden
    by our parsing
eye, and love itself
           hidden inside
      the word.
     Call it life
enrapt with death’s
           blight, blooming
                   briefly.
~
      Emergent morning
in the sweet gum triggering
            green, green
                   its wings
       fanning translucent
below the porch light—angelic,
a palm of light
       opening.
       Hallowed, hatched
each instar inches undercover,
a spent thing
       climbing
        larval, alluvial,
out of every cycle’s shelf-
life, its rife
               unknowing,
        to become this end—
brief birth flying, flown, thrown
   at midnight into
       beginning.
        Mouth-less, it appears
something bidden out of the dark,
out of the broadleaf,
        unmoving,
         to say something
wordlessly—the word we too
can neither speak
        nor sing.
 
Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Tobin. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on December 18, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Further Reading

Poems about Living
"I'm afraid of death"
by Kathleen Ossip
A Toast
by Ilya Kaminsky
Another Elegy
by Jericho Brown
Ashes of Life
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
August, 1953
by David Wojahn
bonne chance de lycee
by Buck Downs
C'est La Guerre
by Danniel Schoonebeek
Characteristics of Life
by Camille T. Dungy
Costumes Exchanging Glances
by Mary Jo Bang
Daily Life
by Susan Wood
Difficult Body
by Mark Wunderlich
Elegy in Joy [excerpt]
by Muriel Rukeyser
En Route
by Darcie Dennigan
far memory
by Lucille Clifton
First Things to Hand
by Robert Pinsky
Flowers of Rad
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Forth Into View, Random Warriors
by Pattiann Rogers
from Oracles for Youth
by Caroline Gilman
from Two Inch Fables
by Marilyn Chin
Frozen
by Natasha Head
How to Uproot a Tree
by Jennifer K. Sweeney
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I Have a Rendezvous With Life
by Countee Cullen
I Know A Few Things
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In a Landscape: IV
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In Betweenness
by Pierre Joris
Insomnia
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Life
by Joe Brainard
Life is Fine
by Langston Hughes
Little Night Prayer
by Péter Kántor
Living in Numbers
by Claire Lee
Lost and Found
by Ron Padgett
Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus [excerpt]
by Denise Levertov
Meaning
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Meditation 29
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Montparnasse
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On Disappearing
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On Living
by Nazim Hikmet
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by Kofi Awoonor
One Train May Hide Another
by Kenneth Koch
Past Inclemency & Present Warmth
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Primitive State [excerpt]
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Roar Shack
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Song for Future Books
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Songs of a Girl
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Sonnet
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sugar is smoking
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Tear It Down
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The Clouded Morning
by Jones Very
The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz
The Life So Short...
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The Old Stoic
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The Pain
by Laura Kasischke
The Secret
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This is My Life
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Thoughts
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Thrown as if Fierce & Wild
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Variation on a Theme
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Where I Live
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won't you celebrate with me
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[I'm not with my]
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