Shade Garden Sonnet II

By mail came ferns in snarled brown

nests of hairy roots like coarse

silk spun from faerie looms, crowned

by withered elf-knot fronds – divorced

ghosts from summer’s green.

They smelled of rainy loam,

dark perfume of mushroom dreams,

rotting leaf and cold, shade-pregnant stone.

Each wore, like sleeping centipedes,

a secret succulence of curled

volutes, tight-fisted greenish beads

promised to the equinoctial world.

Cradled by earth, the primal cycad blooms

phoenix-like in blaze of jade-fire plumes.

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