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The Forever Refuge

A cloud jungle in the sky
is hidden by invisible barriers on all sides,
reinforced by immense rock formations
that were carved by waterfalls in olden days

and the deep visions of ancient species
from every region and every era,
that refuse to be forgotten as mere fantasies.

The dew-drenched summit
is refreshed continually by the fragrant breaths
of the bromeliad-encrusted evergreens that separate

the oceans of yellow maples and orange oaks
from the marshes of sycamores and cypress trees;

and the misty groves of crab-apples and ginkgoes
from the baobab kings and the eucalyptus princes
that impose their ascendant shadows
upon the rest of the fog-forest below them.

Giant sloths plunder the underbrush for grass and fruits,
their paths lit by flurries of golden fireflies.
Millipedes the size of men
are chased by dragonflies the size of seagulls,
which are in turn pursued by sharp-toothed birds.

Barbary lions and silver-back gorillas share the slopes
with pygmy elephants and Amur leopards,
short-nosed bears and carnivorous pigs,
banana slugs and poison-arrow frogs,
mandrills and harpy eagles.

Howler monkeys and tamarins scour
the orchid-rich vineyards
that scaffold the canopy on high,
while Atlas moths and bumblebee bats
harvest sweet nectar from hibiscus flowers
larger than dinner plates.

They – the creatures from all the ages –
live and dine and dwell together in the Forever Refuge,
the human imagination,
where extinction is history and fantasy is reality.

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