High in the Catalan Pyrenees
a lignified cetacean,
a washed-up monument to deep time,
to the singularity of sea bed and mountain peak.
The Catalans call it clavell de pastor, shepherd’s carnation,
the name a reminder
that this is the wild source
of a flower we know from elsewhere,
a decoration for table or gravestone,
and once a symbol of revolution.
Its purple cowls draw the eye,
invite the hand to touch,
revealing nothing, yet,
of the poisonous heart
that for millennia
has served schemers
and fooled the unknowing.
Here at the source,
before contamination and ownership,
we may drink freely of the water of life.