by Chris O’Carroll

A jewel-hued apparition thrills the air,
Its wings all but unseen they flail so fast.
Its tongue flicks, little thicker than a hair,
Laps blossoms frantically for a repast
Of nectar. (Five times the bird’s weight each day!)
But flower juice alone cannot sustain
This dynamo. For protein, it must prey
On insects, tidbits which it may obtain
By hinging wide its mandible in flight,
Or raiding other hunters and their catches:
The iridescent kleptoparasite
Darts, hovers, whirs beside a web. It snatches
   The victims tangled in the silken mesh,
   And gleams as it wolfs down the spider’s flesh.