Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise-painted in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
completed December 24, 2014
excerpt from "Language of the Birds-It Is All The Mirror of God"
by Laurie Blum
Bird of Paradise
“My crown is golden yellow, forehead and throat a glittering green
Ornamental, bright yellow flank plumes, elongated, spring
From underneath my sweeping maroon-brown-feathered wings.
My bill is bluish gray, and a pair of long tail wires
Unfurl astride my maroon tail, forming a heavenly lyre.
There sprang a curious myth from the first sighting of me:
It told of visitors from paradise, with transfiguring ethereal beauty,
With no feet because we floated, hovering in the air,
And never touched the earth because our spirit was so rare.
We were thought to exist only high above the earth,
Kept aloft by miraculous plumage, treasures of enormous worth.
Men thought we lived from dew that heaven’s rain brought forth.
On earth, this otherworldly beauty is falsely sought as golden treasure,
And I am enrapt in the tempting power of its beguiling pleasure.
I am unable to share the gold; it lures me to hoard without measure.
It calls to me to adorn myself further, creating a nagging fluster,
Convincing me of all I lack, without its alluring luster.
Long ago, I was killed for my plumage, in order to adorn the kings.
What happened to that rare ethereal element they once were worshipping?
Do they think they can capture the spirit, divine, in my feathering?
Men even stole my plumage once, trading it for this gold.
I thought God’s beauty was just put here for all, the world to behold.
Oh you of the world who are dazzled by exterior forms!
In whose heart the value of real things never dawns!
You are like the ones who can only see in the dark.
Without its coloring, gold is just metal with no spark.
Men love gold; it is their delight, for without it they would find no pleasure.
Gold is their almond in the shell! They are blind to spiritual treasure.
Their love for gold and surface things fills them with vain desire;
Without their deepest need fulfilled, they are prevented from rising higher.
Your True worth is golden, but it’s not of this world.
Only the Simurgh’s True Alchemy can the Golden Soul Bird unfurl.
You are attracted to the sheen of the metal like a child;
Once you share this gold with someone, you will receive a smile.
Then shall you both profit, giving it to many more in number.
Keep it and you become tied to the bundle, and its slavery encumbers.
If you cannot renounce life completely, then you can at least
Free yourself from the love of fame and riches, and watch your love increase.”