In his clean vegetation

the parrot, judicious,

poses on a branch,

The narrator of the scene,

aware of the perfect fruits,

the white and bIue ftowers,

the snake with an ear for music;

he presides.


The apes

hold their oranges like skulls,

like chalices.

They are below the parrot

above the oranges-

a jungle serfdom which

with this order



They are the ideals of dreams.

Among the exactness,

the symmetrical petals,

the efficiently flying angels,

there is complete liberation.

The parrot is interchangeable;

tomorrow in its place

a waltzing man and tiger,

brash legs of a bird.

Michael Ondaatje HENRI ROUSSEAU AND FRIENDS for Bill Muysson


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