Friday, August 27, 2010

The Sunflower's Reason

The wise sunflower nods toward the sun --
Its arc is eminently rational --
As is the tastiness of its ripe seeds,
Seductive kernel in the striped hull --

How clever! It gets birds to spread its seeds
And humans to domesticate it so
The species can proliferate its gold
And have its seeds protected from the snow.

The sacrifice of seeds makes perfect sense
For all the flower has to gain. It fills
The fields in monocultures it could not
Achieve alone -- it covers well-tilled hills.

The flower's flavorful seeds fulfill all
The species needs -- the choice to coexist
With other species much more rational
Than making poisons with which to resist.

The bees will get their pollen, nectar -- man
Will get the honey and the seeds, all three
Cooperating to make mutual trade,
For nothing ever in this life is free.
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