(A poem from my project, “Towards Westness”)
You can get an audience
with the West near the coast.
I have been to court in Carmana,
the old growth of empire
grown great with green,
rain-rich and extravagant
in its giving: seeds, berries, leaves
like nothing – silver to Solomon –
treasures forged by heat of sun
and tempered with Pacific mist.
I thought to pay tribute,
but came away with a gift:
this light wooden flower
intricate, fully open,
its petals stiff and ridged,
a cone held in cupped hands
upside-down a stylized pine.