Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A challenge for our readers

Just back from another bush-walk. An overnight one this time; we stayed at the Atiwhakatu Hut.* Behold, the Thelymitra longifolia orchids were actually open today. Attuned as we are in NZ to our environment, attentive to these subtle cues, we soon deduced that the day was hot and still.

Also open: the Gastrodia cunninghamii orchids. These are like something from a Clark Ashton Smith story. The interior of the flower is a kind of undead white, with an opalescent lustre. The exterior of the petals and the central flower spike are nearly black, with a leprous mottling. The flowers are only about 1 cm. across but they still frighten me. There are no leaves, for this is a parasitic orchid. A fungus of some kind parasitises the roots of the beech trees (or is commensual with them), and apart from its annual flower spike the orchid is an underground expanse of roots that lives in turn off the fungus mycelium.

We are offering a prize of 200 quatloos to the reader who writes the best libertarian lyrics on the subject, preferably in the style of Rush.

Anyone who tries to rhyme Gastrodia with 'ode to ya' faces IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION.

* Pronounced Hearty FuSHUT UP SMUT


ckc (not kc) said...

...to a libertarian, of course, the whole mess - orchid, mold, tree, passing tourist - is invisible, unless they neglect to get off his lawn.

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Forget the &@$#% environment...
Happy birthday to me
(the end)

Another Kiwi said...

Oh my baby Gastro dia
For you, orchid I've got the hots
I don't even mind your spots.
Cos I know you're wild and free (like the wind)
And one day it'll be we
(Like the wind)
You won't get no dough ray me.

Ahem, Smut, 200 quatloos?? Where are we going to get our hands on that sort of money? Send Brett on the Professional wrestling circuit again?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

A modern-day flower
Mean black spike
Today's weird orchid
lovely undead white

Though the petals may not be open
Don’t put it down as hibernating
It’s reserve, it stays shut
eating from the myselium
The Fungus!

What you say about Gastrodia
Is what you say about society
Catch the sun, catch the heat
Catch the mystery, catch the meat

The roots are, the roots are,
Light and warmth are here
Maybe as his roots are deep

Today's Bright Orchid
He gets high on you
And the mold he invades
He gets by on you

don't make me do more.

Substance McGravitas said...

The trees prepare for battle
In the dark and brooding silence.
Bruised and sullen stormclouds
Have the light of day obscured.
Looming low and ominous
In twilight premature
Thunderheads are rumbling
In a distant overture...

All at once, the clouds are parted.
Light streams down in bright unbroken beams...

See orchid's blooms as they leech from the trees.
The shifting shafts of shining show the horror of their dreams...

Substance McGravitas said...

Don't have to change much for that to work.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

which is why I went for the tougher shot, Sub-man.

Substance McGravitas said...

A fat man in the hand is worth two sprinters in the bush.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Are you confuzzling this with the Bill Bennett/ Donner Party thread?

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I would like to think that CAS would have described them as "nacreous".

No quatloos for me... libertarianism and commensualism are incompatible.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

jeez, who let 4B have his keyboard back?

He's dropping comments like Jonah Goldberg drops vegetables.

Smut Clyde said...

CAS would have described them as "nacreous".

'Nacreous' and 'leprous' in adjacent sentences? Wouldn't that be over-doing things? Because we all know about CAS's reluctance to over-egg the pudding in his literary style.