In the beginning
gigantic explosion.
From vast emptiness
packed with potential,
matter hurtles,
expands, flames
to billions of galaxies,
coalesces to spinning stars,
burning planets,
gases, metals flaring, flung
for countless million light years

Eventually this planet,
these seas
and then –
who knows why?
through some strange alchemy
Myriad forms writhe
and dart –
fish, tadpoles,
trees, grass, gnats,
wombats, sloths,
beetles –
through coral, trees and grass.

a flower
fierce for life
drawn from that first flame
of creation
formed in a long dance
with bees, birds, butterflies,
a dance performed
to shape each other
lovingly, nuzzlingly.
Then reshaped in dialogue
with human eyes and hands
to be beloved of emperors.

Not any flower this
cunningly nectared,
suffused with colour,
golden echo
of first explosion:
14 billion years
and now here,
at last, in this room,
in this vase.