Monday, 8 September 2008

Anggrek Membanguni

Abreast the Mahakam thrives a unique plant,
Pure narcotic musk emanates from its blooms,
With leaves protruding at an eccentric cant,
Amidst swampy sedges secretes its perfumes.
Unclassified this genus, within academic texts,
Ne’er listed by Gibson nor Hooker or Banks,
Its existence mayhap no dope fiend suspects,
Or those Pharmacologists of Exalted Ranks.

The Kalimantan seers derive psychic powers
When its ethereal scents they fully inhale,
By evening’s last light, from blooming flowers,
Takes their psyches far beyond the Pale.
My initial experience was gentle but swift,
A plenary opening of the innermost eyes,
As amongst downy clouds my soul was adrift,
Far past the periphery of all corporeal ties.

The shamans restrict their divining powers,
Constrained to Equinox and Solstice eves,
Yet oft’ I gazed upon those mystical flowers
And the seductive whorls of their leaves,
For under a complaisant, dexterous touch
To transplanting’s rigours yield with favour,
Flourishing in pots of humus loam and cutch,
Providing their nocturnal aromas to savour.

Upon my verandah each evening recline,
To breathe the balm of these propagations,
In their analeptic bouquet I silently dine
On Reality’s infinite subliminal variations,
As the Cosmos and Soul meld to unite,
To become One, Without and Within,
And my spirit loosed by an aura of light,
Beyond the dark realms of material sin.

A potent pomander these petals create,
Neath thy pillow bestow mystical dreams,
Or in a thurible burned, an incense to sate,
And rend the threads of Existence’ seams.
Yet no enfeebling bite, nor mephitic effects
To assimilation of this flower’s redolence,
No addictive grasp, nor conscious neglect
Cause thought for thy spiritual condolence.

Legends declaim the great Kraton magicians,
Of the old Shrivijaya and Shailendra sects,
Revered the bloom in their occult traditions
And deciphered all its Hermetic aspects,
To go beyond that estate of fragrance alone
Anointed their skin with attar of the flowers,
And the Fount of all Knowledge duly shown,
Achieved the Zenith of Clairvoyant Powers.

Yet Wisdom unique ne’er satisfied the Lust
To know More than the One and the Whole,
Their Kingdoms now lie in Ruins and Dust
Due the Secrets they ravaged for that Goal.
For in covetous pursuit of this illicit end
On the succulent flowers took their feast,
With aloof nescience reaped the Dividend,
Slipped the fetters from the Eternal Beast.

So to all who might venture to seek this Grail
That flourishes upon the Mahakam’s banks,
Cherish well my review of the Kraton’s tale
Lest thee conjoins their ensorceled ranks.
For the scent alone of those exotic blooms
Shalt unveil psychic eyes, and will show,
That many doors lead to enigmatic rooms,
And not All are ours to Open, or to Know.


The Anggrek Membanguni is a fragile evening-fragrant orchid with light-violet flowers which exude a seductive and mystical scent that invokes psychic visions when inhaled. It is indigenous to the southern banks of the upper reaches of the Mahakam River in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Perennial flowering occurs in its natural environs. Closest species classification is to the genus Cattleya, but a myriad intricate physical, and metaphysical, attributes set it apart, and unique, from this order.

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