high enough to glimpse blue sky and shafts
of sunshine but too low to feel the heat,
the forest floor is invisible
beneath mandalas of palm fronds.
Here in the middle level, the second canopy,
the view ahead is all vertical columns reaching
straight up and straight down to invisible destinations;
columns swagged with familiar vines.
These old acquaintances were once only known to me
as clipped and controlled little pot plants
sitting separately in shiny urns
on hard grey carpet, trying unsuccessfully
to disguise the miserable forest
of cubicle dividers in our second floor office.
Flaccid under fluoro lighting
breathing badly conditioned air from corner ceiling vents
doled a weekly dribble of water
and trimmed of the first signs of decay,
those office mates were tame avatars of
the uninhibited natives clinging rampant here.
Gnawed by wild animals,
yet covering every available trunk that ever sees sunlight,
all tangled together with a previously unimaginable diversity
of twenty-metre-dwelling plants.
I am looking for tree snakes
but I give myself over to a fantasy of supplying
offices with appropriate foliage:
definitely, the seried shark’s teeth of the wait-a-while
would be more honest in the workplace,
to snag the wage-slaves’ city clothes;
yes, surround the photocopier with
the tender pink tips of something so delicate
it grows along spider silk,yet so ruthless it strangles saplings;
and for head office,
a spiraling double-helix
that chokes the life out of its host vine
and remains a free hanging corkscrewwith no visible means of support.