Darwin’s Questions – a poem by Deborah Leipziger

 Darwin’s Questions

Upon reading Oliver Sacks, The River of Consciousness

We evolve together
in the way of orchids
and pollinators –

Bats, bees, moths,
hummingbirds
in the dance
of co-evolution.

Why are there night-blooming
orchids?

…………….Moths
appear, at night.

The orchid’s pollinia–
a circle of pollen —
seeks
a certain pollinator.

On the Isle of Reunion
the bee orchid lures male
bees.
……….The orchid’s iridescent
……….wing patterns
……….resemble the female bee,
……….creating allomones,
……….which mimic the scent
……….of female bees.

How could the star-shaped orchid
with a nectary a foot long
be pollinated?
By whom?

the hawkmoth, reaches into the white
star
of the orchid.

 

Deborah Leipziger is an author, poet, professor, and mother. Her chapbook, Flower Map, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013). She is the co-founder of Soul-Lit, an on-line poetry magazine. Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger is the author of several books on human rights and sustainability. http://flowermap.net/

 

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