Wondrous Strange
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Paul Stevens

was born in Yorkshire, England but lives in Australia. He has an Honours degree in English and teaches Literature.


He has published poems in print and pixel, most recently in London Poetry Review, Soundzine, Mannequin Envy, qarrtsiluni, and The Barefoot Muse.

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The Paragon of Plants

Eye to eye we track, grown heliotropic,
And sunlight ripples ticklish on our skin;
Your touch on my touch, phototactic, sticks.

We bathe in energy, our element:
Sky trickling liquid down bare branches,
Earth fingering upward through deep roots.

Now buds and foliage spring from manic limbs,
Hands metamorphose to the fruit they reach for:
Sense is exactly what sense apprehends,

And in this growth engrafts all difference
Of sex and soul, with scion cleaved to stock
And trunk to shaggy trunk. Swaying as one,

A paragon of plants, we rollick there,
Breathing light in, gasping out spicy air.