My love is like an iridescent hue—
A coruscating haze of orange, red and blue;
A parlous transformation certain photons rue
That face destructive interference.
My love is like a bowl of comely fruit,
Whose shiny, dimpled, waxen pericarps impute
The bitter mesocarp, that hints the more astute
Should give sour endocarp due clearance.
My love owes beauty, cold and statuesque,
In graceful poise evoking perfect arabesque
With classic virtues, recrudescing Romanesque,
In worse excesses than Octavian.
My love has feathers in her coiffeured hair—
A monstrous, non-cladistic, bird-brained hybrid pair,
Her rostral pole chimæric with the derrière
Of some denuded ratite avian.
(Editor’s note: the painting on which the poem is based is by Isobel Smerdon, aged 11, and is reproduced with permission. The animation is by the author.)
David O’Neill is a frustrated mathematician who has journeyed through a predominantly life-science-based medical landscape for most of his mortgage-paying professional life, eventually finding salvation in the Open University, too close to the end for practical application but sufficiently early for peace of mind and poetic inspiration.