Before the fruit was plundered
from the Emperor's walled gardens,
before England's royalty was plied with fat quarters
there was no word to unspring the fingers of the rainbow's palm
there was no frame for smoke sunsets,
no tone for the bearded coal's flume.
Maybe there was no such colour
pricking fallen leaves,shagging manes?
Perhaps before the Orange
grey lions with blunt claws
walked easily with gazelles.
Perhaps in the last orphaned stands
of great forests, there is a fruit
which can train new colours to our eyes
and put new fangs in our grey thoughts.