In a metal cased tube in the back lab

A flower limply lolls about its head,

Dipping and swaying, it’s happy; content

To soak up fluorescent rays – processed food.


The room is empty, voices of absent

Technicians echo off stainless steel walls

Like underwater sounds in memory.

They are drowned by the hum of a slight buzz.


A stately king who’s wandered too far from

The boundaries of his abode, pompously

Suited in a furry black and yellow

Robe, saunters his royal colors along.


Eleven thousand swings mark his stature,

And he sings soft as he trundles along.

The weight of a single weapon bobs him –

His lifeline, his defense, whose loss means death.


As he nears, the flower ceases her sway,

Her petals shiver and tingle behind

The aluminum encasement, sensing

Pleasure from without her bright, lonely den.


The king smells her excitement; his hairs prick

On end. He follows the flow of her scent

In a stupor, his beats fast; erratic,

And with gallant courage charges her cage.


Unnatural walls repel him at first,

And his exertions cause an enraged daze.

So he pounds ever harder, and harder,

Headlong into the barrier ‘spite pain


Wonder, fatigue, and pervading worry.

Again head first, and again – no avail!

At last his energy is spent. Nearly

Dropping with agony and in defeat,


An unseen hole at the cases’ corner

Has become apparent. An access point!

Dogged, his former buzz now a murmur,

The king limps in through the secret entrance.


At last! The flower, ever patient and

Eager, spreads wide her petals to embrace

The arrival of the now joyous king,

Regal and firm despite his exertions.


Pillow-like, her anther enfolds round him.

He inserts his proboscis into her

Stigma. She cries out silently – joy.

Nectar is transferred; his buzz becomes a roar.


And in the silence that follows, the empty space around them glows.

The flower’s petals close and cradle the spent royal body.

She drops her head to try and wake him, but he’s become too soft.

Alas the king has lost his sword! His stinger has fallen off!


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