Artichoke, (in Bloom)

You say it’s punk; I say it’s Greek.
Its scent reminds you of something else than honey,
something from childhood in Hampshire
going down a hill, running,
or up a hill, cycling.
To me it’s absolute honey,
and the inner thoughts of bees,
besides one tangible proof
that God is a keen sculptor,
and a lover of honey,
(which adds to the recorded evidence
that he loves honey on the comb
when recently come back from death).
It’s beyond eating,
the artichoke, cut, in the vase,
having been left to itself for the length of the summer,
all the way to the end of its season and over,
and anyway it was too single for a meal.
This is better, and best,
this architectural, radiant,
valiant statement bloom,
extravagantly handsome,
extravagantly squandering
the last of its sweet strength
in these extravagantly bright violet feathers it gives for petals,
this ultimate scent of honey
that neither you or me
would have ever had the courage to imagine.

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