orange-yellow, California state flower petals delicate, velvet richness you dive into wiry, fierce, sprouting despite harshest soils wind-seared sand, impenetrable clay, disruption— determined your golden meadows signal springtime luxurious in years with late rains bee heaven, she tumbles in pollen somersaults, pulsating abdomen her body hairs yellow-powdered halo my grandmother knew blue, the breadseed form estranged from my roots I know it not new roots, mine California taproots cling to sandstone Eschscholzia, soporific nervine the dark side, toxic, poison skull and crossbones, beware what darkness emerges next my poppy popcorn, here-there-everywhere runs in dizzying directions disorienting, incomplete (do not show the darkness— find the turn, make it bright— yet it oozes out nonetheless) she slips from my pen nimble, lithe, transfixing can I learn patience with nonlinear? my alter ego, my shadow, inspiration, delight orange-yellow petals curl to a funnel in late afternoon J. Maak J. Maak is a writer and change-maker in urban Los Angeles. Her ecopoetry has appeared in Tiny Seed and several other literary journals. She teaches environmental sustainability at a private college as well as to the general public. When not writing, she can typically be found in a garden: helping others with their vegetable plots, maintaining her own fruit trees and veggies, or watching birds and butterflies in the backyard wildlife habitat she stewards. Her work can be found through Change-Making.com/jmaak.