nodding greenhood

No flamboyant, pampered,
and over-bred
hot-housed princesses,
potted and fed,
with our transparent skulls
and our parrot beaks,
no colour, no scent
for you to seek,
we hide in the spaces,
between those you took.
we don’t want your attention,
but if you stop to look,
we’ll give you a nod
with our leaf-green hoods.
nod back, then walk on.
Show you’ve understood.

Every year in spring I look for the nodding greenhood orchids in the gully that flows down the hill from our dam. This year there seem to be more than usual, probably from the high rainfall two years in a row. There are several special of greenhood, and as a family they’re listed as “vulnerable”. My daughter took a look at them and said “they’re so ugly!”, which I guess explains why you wont find them in a plant catalogue. I can see her point, but I still go looking for them every spring and after a few dry years it was good to them back again.


Filed under musings, poem

13 responses to “nodding greenhood

  1. I love your use of the negative in this poem. It really gives this little orchid a personality!

  2. any colour you like enlgish system
    wis and wuz
    the bird place is plain yet hidden
    come on in
    ye are bidden~

  3. A swan in an ugly duckling’s clothes maybe. 🙂

  4. Lovely ode to the greenhood! Ugly? I think they are a little weird perhaps, but delicately beautiful.

  5. They remind me of those deep sea fish that are transparent because colour is no use down there in the dark. I wonder why these orchids are so self effacing?

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