Arboretum by Don Kingfisher Campbell


by Don Kingfisher Campbell

As you enter pea tail eyes stare at you

A bush of red firecrackers seems to explode

Are those tall thin “candles” speakers from The Time Machine film

Yellow microdresses pirouette from a tree

Spider egg sacks become burst popcorn kernels

Magenta bottle brushes grow outward in all directions

Here’s something strange…rows of perpendicular leaves like green pinwheels on branches

A white six-petaled flower contains a blue tri-petal center that signals pollinators landing target

The arbor with a head of spiky “hair” looks like it walked out of a Dr. Seuss book

Bouquets of tiny lavender; pompoms of fluff

Purple, white and violet bunches form flowerman

Do those stalks of aloe vera bananas taste good

Little suns flower by the side of the walkway

A rabbit the color of dirt hides behind a scraggly weed

Fuchsia teacups dot fuzzy verdant buds

Amarillo “butterflies” nest by the hundreds in limbs

Multiple waterfall cascades like long straight tresses produce foamy spray at the bottom

Angular cactus paddles appear ready to return anything

Freshly painted candy cane mansion glistens in the afternoon sun

Graffitied bamboo pole vaults come in three colors (black, green, and yellow)

Wave goodbye with your palm to the cobalt necked peacock as you leave

PHOTO: Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden ( 

NOTE: The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is an arboretum, botanical garden, and historical site of 127 acres nestled into hills near the San Gabriel Mountains, at 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, California.  To learn more about the 3,000-year history of this unique site, visit

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am always inspired by the variety of fauna and foliage to be seen every time I visit this large park that used to be the home of settler Lucky Baldwin.

DKC headshot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, has taught Writers Seminar at Occidental College Upward Bound for 36 years, been a coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud, a performing poet/teacher for Red Hen Press Youth Writing Workshops, Los Angeles Area Coordinator and Board Member of California Poets In The Schools, poetry editor of the Angel City Review, publisher of Spectrum and the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, leader of the Emerging Urban Poets writing and Deep Critique workshops, organizer of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. For awards, features, and publication credits,  visit

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