February 2012 - Ode to the Hummingbird by Pablo Neruda

The hummingbird in flight is a water-spark, an incandescent drip of American fire, the jungle's flaming resume, a heavenly, precise rainbow: the hummingbird is an arc, a golden thread, a green bonfire!

Oh tiny living lightning, when you hover in the air, you are a body of pollen, a feather or hot coal, I ask you: What is your substance? Perhaps during the blind age of the Deluge, within fertility's mud, when the rose crystallized in an anthracite fist, and metals matriculated each one in a secret gallery perhaps then from a wounded reptile some fragment rolled, a golden atom, the last cosmic scale, a drop of terrestrial fire took flight, suspending your splendor, your iridescent, swift sapphire.

You doze on a nut, fit into a diminutive blossom; you are an arrow, a pattern, a coat-of-arms, honey's vibrato, pollen's ray; you are so stouthearted-- the falcon with his black plumage does not daunt you: you pirouette, a light within the light, air within the air. Wrapped in your wings, you penetrate the sheath of a quivering flower, not fearing that her nuptial honey may take off your head!

From scarlet to dusty gold, to yellow flames, to the rare ashen emerald, to the orange and black velvet of our girdle gilded by sunflowers, to the sketch like amber thorns, your Epiphany, little supreme being, you are a miracle, shimmering from torrid California to Patagonia's whistling, bitter wind. You are a sun-seed, plumed fire, a miniature flag in flight, a petal of silenced nations, a syllable of buried blood, a feather of an ancient heart, submerged.