These are from a collection I've been working on for the past few years called Songs for Phaeton
. I have a few things, like the first one below, that're kinda "wouldn't this be cool to see," but most of them are historical accounts of different alien civilizations making their first space flight. They're dense, for sure, because they're meant to be part of a comic book, so the images would add clarity.
The first is about a tree with mock fruit and flowers that have a narcotic impact on predators such that they leave its pollinator alone. (It's a metaphor for love, see?) And the second is about a giant tree, the Hallachain, that poisons its surroundings being killed by an intelligent species of vine. (It's meant to be, on one level, a metaphor for the overthrow of a dictator . . . ) If you read them outloud, slowly, letting them speak themselves, it's a better time. imho
Let me know what you think!
---------------------- The Titan Tree
The smallest flower on the Titan tree
Is small, frail, purple-veined and white,
The rest, pink buds opening golden eyes
Nod, breathe perfume, and, wreathed by bees
Bring narcotic fruits which swell, swing,
And are eaten by bats, birds, badgers, ants, rats . . .
The flesh of these fruits gives easily, to the rinds,
Which house, in vapid ardor, no seeds.
The one true flower is pollinated by
The hermit moth, which tip-to-tail runs
Fifteen inches. Rusty red, the moth flies
Overhead, past the sun, where it takes
Some long hours to negotiate the wind
Where finally it finds her, high above, undefended.
-----------------------------The Wild Vines, on the Afternoon of First Entry into the Void
Put to shade the Wonderboom and jade
The redwood stands, O, dusky Hallachain.
O'er dust she holds dominion, the clouds contained
Within her branches wholly, and the rain
Runs through her massive hollows past the stains
Of green to bad earth where her heavy gases pain
The watershed. But once, from 'round the unmade
Spring, the wild vines crept, and now the tree is dead.
They wind inside her, up, into the caverned heights,
Climb from dark to dark, husky breathing, cough light,
Her residents and architects and architecture all, and they
Rise to the strange air on the wood spire
Where the rough seed canister is tossed, flies past
The million chemists' eyes and wobbles madly into space.